Airline Garuda Indonesia has responded to a critical video review with a ban on inflight photography, as a pair of YouTubers now face an $80000 fine.

This bizarre saga all begins on a flight taken by video bloggers, Rius Vernandes and Elwiyana Monica, from Sydney to Bali Denpasar.

In a video taken from the business-class cabin, passengers complain of handwritten menus and being told that the wine had run out.

National carrier Garuda Indonesia was embarrassed by the leaked memo. Photo / Getty Images
National carrier Garuda Indonesia was embarrassed by the leaked memo. Photo / Getty Images

The video uploaded to their YouTube channel ( that reaches 491000 subscribers ) shows a hand-written menu on perforated note paper.

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At one point in the video, an attendant apologises for the "bad handwriting."

However, this scruffy note was clearly distributed by the cabin crew, in the absence of printed lists.

"The passengers in front of me were given a menu like this. I was confused why we were given such a menu," Rius says.

The videomaker then talks to another pair of travellers on the flight, who complain about the lack of not just menus but wine.

The Australian travellers interviewed, named as Paul and Christian, tell Rius: "the wine ran out, champagne, all wine. You come on a flight like this, business class, you expect nice wine."

"The staff are very embarrassed. There are 40 business class seats and they had three bottles of champagne, that's disappointing. Would we go with Garuda again? I would look at other airlines," Rius concludes in his video review.

To make matters worse for Garuda, following the video's publication on Saturday, an internal note from the airline was leaked.

This memo outlined a ban on inflight photography.

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This ban on photography, apparently in reaction to the critical YouTube review, was widely mocked on social media.

The airline was mocked for its thin-skinned reaction by other video makers and influencers.

Among those criticising the airline included the son of the Indonesian President, Kaesang Pangarep.


However, on Tuesday, it was made clear that Garuda was serious about a photography ban.

The airline asked passengers "not take images, be it photos, videos or document all activities during a flight".

In a separate press release, issued later that day, the stance was softened. The statement amended the outright ban, saying "passengers can still take pictures for personal interests such as taking selfie pictures while not disturbing the comfort or harming other passengers."

However, in spite of this flip flop, the airline is not finished with the YouTubers behind the original critical video review.

Indonesian police say they are investigating the matter with the possibility of Garuda charging the Youtubers for defamation.

Under Indonesia's strict Electronic Transaction law, the videomakers could face fines of up to 750000000 Rupiah ($80000) or even six years in jail.

Andreas Haranso of Human Rights Watch Indonesia told the Sydney Morning Herald that the law was in dire need of reform. The Electronic Transaction law was "so rubbery it can used for whatever you want to do," he said.

Exactly what Garuda intends to do is currently unclear, but for now passengers are left in confusion and with second thoughts about taking in-flight selfies.