Guy who missed his flight survived Lion Air plane crash only due to traffic

Razia Meer
Oct 29, 2018
01:55 P.M.

For most people, good luck is not quantifiable as a tangible thing, but for one Indonesian man, it has literally been proven to be a matter of life and death.


Sony Setiawan should have been amongst the headcount of Lion Air Flight JT610 on Monday. It's the flight he usually takes with his colleagues to get to Pangkal Pinang.

Instead, Setiawan was caught in traffic and what should have taken him only a short while to reach the airport took an unbelievable three hours longer than normal.

However, six of Setiawan's colleagues, unfortunately, did make the flight on time and were on the plane when it went down in the Java Sea taking 189 souls with it, leaving Setiawan as the unlikely sole survivor due to luck.


Read more on our Twitter account AmoMama USA.

Setiawan, a finance ministry official in Jakarta, was caught up in the city's frustrating traffic congestion and waited an extra three hours to get through a toll gate. This delay ended up saving his life. He said to AFP:

'I usually take (flight) JT610 - my friends and I always take this plane [...] I don't know why the traffic at the toll road was so bad. I usually arrive in Jakarta at 3am but this morning I arrived at the airport at 6:20 and I missed the flight.'


Setiawan was unaware that anything untoward had happened to his colleagues when he boarded a later flight to Pangkal Pinang on a different airline.

Journalists surrounded him when he arrived safely at his destination and he said that he cried upon hearing the news of the devastating tragedy that had befallen the Boeing 737.

'The first time I heard I cried. I know my friends were on that flight.'


His family, assuming that he had made his flight, as usual, feared the worst about his safety. His first call after landing was to them, reassuring his mother and grief-stricken family that he was okay.

'My family was in shock and my mother cried, but I told them I was safe, so I just have to be grateful.'

Flight JT610 left Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on time only to vanish from radar moments later. Then the Boeing 737 plunged 5,000ft into the Java Sea, taking its 189 passengers to a watery grave.


Novie Riyanto, an air transport official, said that the pilot had requested to return to Jakarta a couple of minutes after take off. Ten minutes later, the plane was gone.

All onboard are feared dead and rescuers have the grim job of trying to recover the passengers' bodies from among the crash debris. Body bags line Tanjung Priok Harbour as well as a dozen ambulances in a race against time.

Over 300 rescue personnel consisting of soldiers and local police are working alongside fishermen to recover the personal belongings and body parts of the victims.


After a plane crash over Cuba in May this year saw more than a hundred fatalities., people worldwide have begun demanding that older planes are taken off the roster due to their malfunctions.

While it is unknown what exactly went wrong with Flight JT610, the pilot's request to turn back makes for speculation that he encountered a technical glitch too.

President Joko Widodo asked Indonesians to pray for the victims of this tragedy, among whom were one child and two babies.

Sony Setiawan meanwhile has to live with the survivor's guilt that comes from being spared the tragic fate that took his colleagues and so many others.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

My Wife Keeps Missing Flights to Visit My Daughter, So I Decided to Board the Plane Alone to Teach Her a Lesson

September 13, 2023

Passenger Dies Next to Woman Who Gets Confused by Staff’s Actions & Reaction to the Body

October 09, 2023

Is 'Flight' Based on a True Story? Exploring The Real-Life Event That Inspired the Movie

October 07, 2023

Pilot Stuns with Viral Video of His Pre-flight Speech: ‘My Will Is What Matters'

August 13, 2023

‘Dad?’ Boy Finds His Soldier Dad Sleeping on Street, ‘Who Are You?’ Man Responds – Story of the Day

September 24, 2023

Stewardess Breaks Rules and Helps Guy Visit Dying Mom ASAP, He Rewards Her Fully – Story of the Day

September 25, 2023

All Passengers Dead in Los Angeles Airport Plane Crash at 'Unusual' Location

August 04, 2023

22 Years since 9/11: Decades Later, a Son in Tears Recalled 2 Messages His Mom Had Sent from Hijacked Plane

September 11, 2023

People Slammed Crying Older Woman for Mixing up Seats on Plane – Only One Lady Stepped up

July 30, 2023

Grandma Was Kicked off Plane as Flight Attendant Got Angry after She Addressed Him

October 11, 2023

Mom Sees Her Daughter-In-Law's Grave a Year after Son's Death – Story of the Day

July 05, 2023

Woman Sparks Controversy after Refusing to Surrender Window Seat to Mom & Her 2 Kids

July 23, 2023

Dad Sees Daughter’s Photos from Vacation and Realizes She’s in Great Danger – Story of the Day

October 25, 2023

Children Refuse to Support Old Father, Learn He Died Trying to Earn at Least a Penny – Story of the Day

October 18, 2023