July 8, 2019
Despite the odds, the organiser of Labuan Big Show (LABS) managed to bring the hot air balloon for the very first time in Labuan from 5th to 7th July that is just closed its curtain on yesterday in Dataran Labuan.
It is now part of history in Labuan and being considered as one of the major events that is ever held in this small duty-free island.
Indeed it is a remarkable achievement for the island that managed to attract many visitors not only from this island, but also from outside the island especially Sabah to witness the event and ride the hot air balloon.
It took three years for the organiser to realize their plan to bring the hot air balloon to Labuan.
Like any event that is held for the first time in anywhere, there will be some minor flaws that might occur, but it should be a catalyst for improvement with much better presentation and outcome in the future.
Whilst there are praises being credited to the organiser, there are some complaints being posted on the social media by the hot air balloon riders due to their dissatisfaction with their rides.
The riders made the complaints, by right their positions as passengers and consumers after paying with ‘great expectation’ to have fun experience with the flying hot air balloon.
A rider posted in his facebook that he and his wife felt disappointed with their ride after they found out the hot air balloon did not fly higher than they expected at the first place, and their ride lasted only for six minutes where the crew told them earlier that it was going to be a 10-minute ride.
By the way, when contacted, he explained that he was just voicing out his dissatisfaction for their airborne experience with the hot air balloon.
“I am not against the event, but the service,” said the rider.
When contacted through the organiser’s facebook page for clarification regarding the complaint by the rider, LABS spokesperson told that the riders involved probably did not read the terms and conditions (T&C) before purchasing the ticket.
The spokesperson shared the print screen of their T&C where it stated that the tickets sold for tethered balloon ride that goes aloft to a low altitude of below 100ft, while remaining tethered to the ground using straps or lines. The T&C stated further that it was ideal for people with fears of flying or heights; it was the safest possible way to introduce a hot air balloon flight experience; and the rides typically last a few minutes each.
By the way, some netizens questioned the value of their hard-earned money spent for the ride, which they felt did not meet their expectation, as they only had the chance to ride it here in Labuan.
Despite the complaints, some netizens of Labuan praised the local event organiser for making the hot air balloon event available in Labuan.
However, all the mixed voices out there regarding the event should become inputs for the betterment in organising the event in the future.