Low-cost airline Tiger Air refused to allow a blind man on a flight from Husein Sastranegara International Airport, Bandung, to Singapore as he was unaccompanied.
"I am used to flying alone domestically and abroad. This is the first time I have been rejected. This is discrimination," Hendra Jatmika Pristiwa, 38, told The Jakarta Post at his house on Tuesday.
Hendra had to cancel his business meeting on Monday due to the situation. "I was supposed to hand over work to a colleague in Singapore. Although I could have sent it through a courier service, there were many things we needed to discuss," he said.
Hendra bought his ticket online on Oct. 8, paying with a credit card, and believed he had completed all of Tiger Air's procedures.
"There was even a female employee who helped me check-in and told me that she would assist me when I boarded the airplane," he said.
However, when passengers were boarding the plane, another employee, Hastadi, turned Hendra away and told him he could not board the airplane because the pilot said he could not carry an unaccompanied disabled person.
"I was told [this] by Hastadi, the Tiger Air representative in charge and I was not allowed ask the pilot why he refused to fly with me onboard. This is clearly discriminatory," said Hendra.
Tiger Air would not refund the ticket price or airport tax Hendra had paid by, but did give him a declaration that explained, based on Tiger Air's ground-operation rules, the pilot and ground crew could not carry Hendra without a carer.