• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 11:12am
NewsChina Insider

Chinese airline suspends attendant pictured playing with smartphone during flight

Sympathetic commentators slammed punishment by Shandong Airlines as "too harsh"

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 October, 2013, 10:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 October, 2013, 9:42pm

A Chinese flight attendant who was photographed playing with her smartphone on a domestic flight was suspended from her job after a passenger posted the photos on social media, according to her employer Shandong Airlines.

The incident triggered heated discussion on China’s blogsphere, with many sympathetic commentators slamming the punishment as “too harsh.”

A passenger who called herself “Koujiaonvhan” on Weibo, China's twitter-like service, said she was flying on a Shandong Airlines flight from Urumqi to Yinchuan on Sunday night.

She said she was shocked to see a flight attendant sitting in the business section browsing her smartphone immediately after a announcement reminded passengers not to switch on their electronic devices. Another flight attendant soon joined her and held out a newspaper to protect themselves from being seen by passengers, she wrote.

“They played with the phone for 30 minutes,” she wrote.

The passenger then took several photos of the two attendants using the phone and posted them online, possibly with her own phone.

Shandong Airline quickly responded to the post that went viral on Weibo. It said in a statement released on Monday that the flight attendant had admitted to using the phone, which violated Chinese aviation regulations. She has been suspended from her post, it said.

While the passenger said she was pleased with how Shandong Airlines handled her complaint against the people who “played a joke with the lives of passengers”, other online users accused her of violating the same rules when photographing these flight attendants.

“You risked other people’s lives too when you turned on the phone to take pictures,” many wrote.

Others said she should have stopped the flight attendants when she caught them using their phone.

The growing popularity of smartphones in China has been creating problems as well as newspaper headlines.

Beijing authorities said last week in a controversial statement that distracted Beijing drivers playing with their smartphones were the primary cause of road accidents and traffic jams during the “golden week” holiday.


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This article is now closed to comments

Using your phone on a plane causes no danger or interference with the aircraft. The regulations in some countries (Hong Kongs does not forbid it anymore) is outdated and not in line with scientific evidence.
Many international airlines now allow the use of mobile phones even have devices fitted so you can get a signal and wifi while in the air.
I understood Linda's post. Its alright if some things get lost in translation as long as you understand the gist of it. And I believe most people did so don't be so harsh
typical passenger with nothing else better to do than to cause trouble for someone else --- and these are the passengers who probably bring 2 or 3 pieces of cabin baggage and can't stow it them selves - they are the demanding ones asking for everything to eat and drink --- they are the ones who steal cutlery and other items from airplanes - they are the ones who spend over 10 min in the toilet while you wait and wait and wait ---- then they take photos and try to get crew in trouble.
Good dismissal, no respect for her job, they pay u for the work, not for u hobby's... so Chinese girl...!!! How have she get her job??? and her Diploma???
Everybody must respect their jobs... if u are really love it! So not, quick your job... don't waste the salary... !!!
Freedom of speaking...
I suggest you post your reply on apple daily instead of using your pathetic level of english and grammar here under the comment section. Go back to school and educate yourself. I can't even understand what the point of your comment is. This is the SCMP for english speakers.
Shame on the passenger and the airline. Flight Attendants work long and hard and deserve a break. It would be different if a service was supposed to be done. She may have been showing a coworker a pic of someome special. The passenger should keep her nose out from behind the curtain!
So what? , if they have nothing urgent to do , the passenger who took the pictures is a coward
The passenger should not have taken the photo, but notify the person in charge...but I would not call her a coward. If you never complain and ignore things that don't affect you directly, nothing will ever change/improve. They can do whatever if they have nothing else to do, but using the mobile after the announcement asking to switch them off!?


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