Friday, December 12, 2014

In Hot Water: Thai Flight Turns Around After Chinese Passenger Flips

The Wall Street Journal
7:59 pm HKT
Dec 12, 2014

A flight from Bangkok to Nanjing had to turnaround midway on Friday after a female Chinese passenger intentionally scalded a flight attendant with scalding water, passengers and the airline said.

The incident was the most-discussed topic on social media site Weibo Friday evening.

Images posted online offer glimpses of the chaos on board Air Asia flight FD9101 as female flight attendants dressed in red uniforms gathered in the aisle — apparently in heated discussion with a group of unruly passengers.

A statement from the airline said an unidentified female passenger assaulted the flight attendant with the hot liquid after becoming dissatisfied with the service. “The captain of the flight decided to return the plane to Don Mueang Airport deeming her actions as endangering to other passengers and impeding in-flight service,” the statement said, without elaborating on the cause of the conflict.

One fellow passenger, Zhang Xiao, who identified himself as a host on a Chinese-language television station in Thailand, wrote on his verified Weibo account that the trouble had been caused by one woman and one man. “The man said he wants to bomb the plane; the girl said she wanted to commit suicide,” Mr. Zhang wrote, adding that the woman had thrown hot water at the flight attendant.

Cell phone video appearing to have been shot on the same plane shows a male passenger shouting obscenities at the cabin crew while other voices can be heard remarking in Mandarin on his lack of class.

After the plane returned to Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport, the woman and three other passengers were removed from the plane and taken to the airport police station, Air Asia’s statement said.

“They are losing face overseas,” Mr. Zhang lamented in his post on the incident.

This is not the first case of Chinese air rage, but to date most examples have been confined to domestic flights, where passenger meltdowns — –often triggered by long delays,  bad food or just downright surly service – are not uncommon.

Chinese tourist overseas have developed a reputation for bad behavior, ranging from writing graffiti on ancient monuments in Egypt to allowing their children to defecate in public in close proximity to public toilets.

The situation has become so bad that the government has drawn up a list of do’s and don’ts for Chinese tourists, which includes, among others, a plea for Chinese airline travelers not to steal life jackets from under their seats.

Today’s incident suggests an update may be in order: Don’t hurl hot beverages to get cabin crew’s attention.

– Colum Murphy and Yang Jie


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.