Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Lion Air passenger boards flight to find seat doesn’t exist

The airline sold a phantom row of seats

Helen Coffey
Friday 28 September 2018 16:42 BST
A Lion Air passenger was left surprised
A Lion Air passenger was left surprised (Getty Images)

A passenger was left perplexed when she boarded a flight from Palembang to Jakarta, only to find that her seat didn’t exist.

Flying on budget Indonesian airline Lion Air, Satwika Ika walked to the back of the plane to her seat, 35F.

However, upon reaching the final seats, Ika discovered that they finished at row 34 – 35 didn’t exist.

Ika reportedly shared the experience on Facebook, posting a picture of her ticket and the toilet, which is where her seat should have been.

She said cabin crew members were “rude” and “lacked manners” but found her an alternative middle seat further up the plane.

A family with a young child also had tickets for the non-existent row 35, according to Ika.

The unexpected situation arose as a result of Lion Air switching the aircraft type it used after people had already bought tickets. The flight was originally due to be operated on a Boeing 737-900ER, which has 39 rows. The airline instead used a Boeing 737-800NG, a smaller plane with just 34 rows, to avoid potential flight delay, Lion Air’s corporate communications officer Danang Mandala Prihantoro told The Telegraph.

It’s not the first time a plane seat has caused consternation.

In September, a Ryanair passenger who was denied the extra legroom seat he’d paid a £20 fee to book was escorted off his flight by police after refusing to pay his bar bill.

Bob Hamilton, 64, asked cabin crew to waive his £17 drinks tab to make up for the fact that he was not able to sit in his assigned seat.

When the 6ft 2in retired oil broker from Peterborough boarded a recent flight from London Stansted to Malaga he found someone in his seat.

Cabin crew told Hamilton the man was a Ryanair employee who had to remain there for safety reasons, and that he needed to sit elsewhere.

He found a seat towards the back of the plane and ordered two cans of beer and two plastic bottles of wine, costing £17 in total, just after take-off.

Hamilton refused to settle his bar tab, saying he shouldn’t have to pay as he wasn’t allowed to sit in the seat he’d paid extra for.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in