Rash behavior of air passengers

Updated: 2013-08-14 08:56

(China Daily)

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A flight from Chongqing municipality to Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, was delayed for more than one hour recently because five first-class passengers refused to board the plane and adopted radical means to prevent its takeoff. Though security officers detained them later, they didn't charge them with disturbing airline services, which is cause for concern, says an article in Beijing Times. Excerpts:

Flight delays have become common in China. According to FlightStats, a US-based provider of data on air travel, 82 percent of the flights from Beijing and 71 percent from Shanghai were delayed in June. The two cities rank at the bottom of 35 major international air travel hubs that were surveyed for flight delays and cancellations.

Air traffic control problems and bad weather are the two most common causes of flight delays in China. But in some cases, like the recent incident in Chongqing, passengers are to blame.

The five first-class passengers in Chongqing refused to board the plane because they were not ferried on an "exclusive bus" to the plane, and after the cabin door was closed, they wrapped their arms around the wheels of the towing vehicle. If they were unhappy with the airline's services, they should have negotiated with its staff instead of resorting to radical means and infringing upon the rights of other passengers.

In similar incidents in Kunming and Guangzhou, passengers were held for abusing their rights and disrupting public order. The same treatment should have been meted out to the five passengers in Chongqing, but they were allowed to go scot-free, which is a disturbing development.