Saturday, January 13, 2007

'We need information, not assumptions'

Thursday, January 11, 2007

With all the focus on the Adam Air flight that went missing near Sulawesi island more than a week ago, numerous questions have been asked about the safety standards of budget airlines in the country. The Jakarta Post asked people if the Adam Air case, as well as several recent ferry and boat accidents, had affected their travel plans.

Besly Yermi Tunggaoly Messakh, 34, is a pastor. He lives on Jl. Salemba, Central Jakarta:

I was flying from eastern Indonesia to Jakarta over the weekend, but I decided to end my flight in Surabaya and continue on to Jakarta by train.

The Adam Air accident is so frightening. We were confused by the flood of information provided by all the media coverage. I think people don't trust local airlines anymore. Their credibility is questionable. We don't trust Indonesian technology or the people in charge of that technology, but at the same time we rely on these people. This is really a mess. We deliberately put ourselves in danger.

I think all the airline companies must be transparent with passengers, and the government must be transparent with the people about its audits of these companies.

What we need to reduce our anxiety is more reliable and accessible information. People need to make decisions based on credible information, not based on assumption.

Sarah Lerry Mboeik, is a social worker. He lives in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, but frequently travels to Jakarta:

As consumers, we have no bargaining position with the airline companies. With the limited number of airline companies, especially in remoter parts of the country, we have no choice about who we travel with.

Maybe because most people do not really understand the technical aspects of aviation, the companies feel free to deceive us. Then, when a case occurs, they feel they can just lie to us.

An accident happened in East Nusa Tenggara in early 2006, and later it was clear that the government lied to the public about the age of the ship, causing hundreds of people to die. But why are these cases happening again this year?

I think no matter how expensive the price of an airplane ticket, people will still buy them because they need to fly, as long as they are convinced about the safety.

However, for a long time we have not had any reliable information.

We never know how they come up with ticket prices, for example. Sometimes I wonder why passengers in the same section of a plane pay different prices for their tickets. But the government has been turning a blind eye to such problems.

--The Jakarta Post

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