Sun, Jun 29, 2008
Group Refuses To Disembark From Aircraft After Flight
Cancelled, Waits For Morning Flight
While many passengers in the United States complain about
incidents of being “held captive” aboard airliners for
hours during weather delays and cancelations, a recent weather
delay in China had some passengers doing the exact opposite --
refusing to leave the aircraft after the flight had been
Reuters reported Friday of the unique situation after a Chinese
airline flight from Beijing to the eastern coastal city of Yantai
was cancelled due to poor weather. The flight boarded shortly
before its expected 2000 local time late evening departure with 200
passengers aboard, but weather conditions forced the aircraft and
passengers to sit on the tarmac for more than three hours before
the airline made the decision to cancel the flight.
According to the Beijing Morning Post, most of the passengers
disembarked after the cancelation, but fifty-two passengers on
flight refused to disembark from the aircraft.
The Morning Post spoke to one of those who remained aboard,
identified as Mrs. Shi, about their reasoning for remaining aboard
"Mrs. Shi said that she and her colleagues had to get to Yantai
for a meeting, they were on a very tight schedule, and could not
accept the cancellation of the flight” the paper said.
At 0300, the airline informed the passengers aboard they could
take a flight to Yantai at 0730.
"The passengers said that in the 12 hours or so they spent on
the aircraft, the crew provided continuous service, and all along
offered food and drink," the report said.
Reports of unruly passengers unwilling to get off of delayed
airliners or causing trouble within airports is a common occurrence
in the Chinese media, but airlines are also frequently criticized
in these cases for not providing enough information or service for
passengers inconvenienced by the delays. The case of the airline
providing full service to the 52 overnight passengers is unique as
airline service standards have struggled to keep up even after
billions of dollars spent in the upgrade of aircraft and airports
in the country.
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