• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 2:38am
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 11:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 11:30am

Outrage after Chinese men on Air France flight take wine bottles 'to go'


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for SCMP.com. Amy can be reached at chunxiao.li@scmp.com, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

Two Chinese men on an Air France flight recently shocked their fellow passengers by snatching eight bottles of wine from the airline service cart, ignoring objections from other travellers on board.

Wen Fei, a Chinese woman who works in Paris, wrote on  weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, about her encounters with the two men who sat near her on flight AF132 from Paris to China’s central Wuhan city on Friday. 

Wen said she tried to stop them after they each took at least eight bottles of wine and stowed them in their bags - without asking the flight crew.

“I explained to them it was not OK and interpreted the flight attendents' explanation in French, but they said it was none of my business, ” Wen told SCMP.com on Tuesday.

The two men, apparently drunk, then shouted at Wen in the Wuhan dialect, she said.

“They asked me to back off if I ever wanted to leave Wuhan in one piece,” said Wen.

The pilot later interfered and asked the men to stop fighting with Wen, she said.   

“This kind of behaviour is demeaning for the Chinese travelling abroad,” she said.

Wen also posted a picture she had secretly taken of one of the two men. The photo shows a middle-aged man wearing glasses and well-dressed. 

Wen’s post struck a chord with many netizens who said they, too, find the behaviour of some Chinese travellers appalling.

“The Chinese are always loud and jump queues to get on a flight – even when everyone has a seat,” said a netizen.

“They are used to ‘stealing’ from people in China and now they start applying that habit elsewhere,” commented another netizen, implying the two men might be powerful Wuhan officials.  

The identities of the two men remain unknown.

Air France didn’t respond to the South China Morning Post’s request for an interview on Tuesday.

In a separate incident in China’s southwestern Yunnan province, a local CPPCC member and businessman, Yan Linkun, was caught on camera throwing a temper tantrum and smashing an airport check-in counter after he missed the deadline for boarding.

Yan has apologised to the airport and was suspended from his work, said reports from Chinese media. 


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What does the size of their population have to do with it ? what a silly comment to make. What is the foundation of your comment? So according to 'your' reasoning, if you compared a smaller populated country like canada to , lets say the united states (35 mil compared to over 300 million) , and the americans had this sort of rude reputation similar to chinese you would say it's because of their size and their diversity and they need time to adjust ? What a joke ! Mainland chinese are inherently rude, loud, obnoxious people who will do almost anything, i mean anything for any sort of financial gain. Even a dog living on the street is more well mannered than they are. have you ever gone on a holiday somewhere in asia (thailand, viet nam japan ?) and seen mainland chinese talking really loud across the restaurant, hoarding all the food from the buffet, cutting- or jumping to the front of lines. They are scum and it's no mystery why people in hong kong hate mainlanders.
Breaking! Thanks, SCMP, for covering the news that matters.
on second thought, this story DOES NOT make sense!
Ms Amy Li said two chinese males, each took (stole) eight (8) bottles of wines (that's 16 bottles altogether) and stuffed the wines into their bags.

1. a case of wine is 12 bottles, and you are saying 16 bottles, 750 ml bottles, "from the cart"? the cart is not big enough to carry 1-2 cases of wine roving up and down the aisle. are you sure? i fly a lot, never saw service cart carry more than four 750 mL bottles of wine at any time and you are saying the guys took 16 bottles? (you really believe everything you read on the net? -:)
2. if Ms Amy Li meant each man "stole" 16 tiny 50 mL bottles (*standard on flights) that's 800 mL of wine, a little more than a standard 750 mL bottle of wine. BIG DEAL!! a regular drinking pax consumes half a bottle on long distance flight.
is taking the wine crass? sure. low class? may be. but so are people over drinking on flight... definitely not uncommon in any country, not just chinese...
calm down guys/gals. what this story is about, even if it's true, two chinese guys took about 750 mL of wine (a standard wine bottle). the carrier considers this a non event so they didn't bother to respond to SCMP. i wouldn't. for a bottle of wine and some rude passengers?!!!
doesn't make sense. if the math ain't work, you must acquit! -:)
allow me to relate two of my own... just two although these are very common on US domestic flights, a huge headache for business fliers...
1. i was flying from Miami to LAX. a fat white guy (not sure of his nationality although he spoke in a midwest accent) brought on a double pounder, a small pizza, a double size coke, cheetos and other snacks (names i don't even know). for the next four hours i was subjected to the bad aroma of his fast food and continuous eating. as we deplaned at LAX, i saw ketchup sauce on his XXXL size T shirt.
2. i was on a flight from Denver to San Francisco. the little kid behind me (a blond boy, no more than 10 yrs old, not sure of his nationality) keep kicking my seat back. after 30 minutes of having my back kicked continuously, i went to the flight attendant politely asked for intervention. the attendant told the boy and his mother to stop the kicking. it worked for a while until an hour later the kicking resumed. i requested seat change but the flight was full.
these were just common flying experience here in good ol' USA and i would not be jumping to conclusion calling the male foodist, the kicking boy and his mother "shameless" or "ugly" let alone tag them as "american this and that". there are good people and ugly people everywhere. if we do a blog about "ugly china men", let's in the name of "fair and balance", also see some "ugly american" or "nasty britain". do they still teach "fair and balance" reporting at Mizzou?
points taken though the difference may be the pervasiveness. over hundreds of american flights i have been on two with fast food takeaway; kids kicking seats is everywhere and some parents are better than others in managing that...
Ashamed to read such articles ... Grow up mainland officials! If you truly love your Party, you would not make such demeaning spectacles of yourselves - with great power comes great responsibility (words from a comic book but so true) ....
@charlie 212, though you appear to be a China basher but I am sure you are not. Just allow me to elaborate further. There are millions of Chinese travelling or abroad in overseas countries at any one time, if they all behave as the guy on the plane, you will see chaos the world over, that guy is just not representative of Chinese by number.
People praise and admire the politeness and courtesy culture of Japanese people, but back in Tang Dynasty (about 1000 years ago) Japan sent thousands of students, monks and officials to China to learn about Chinese culture and civilization , as history recorded there were more than 200 Japanese in Xian (西安,China Capital then) studying and learning at anyone time, this lasted for many tens of years. For your information, the traditional dress of Japan (和服) highly resembles the Chinese traditional dress during Tang Dynasty.
All nations have ups and downs in their history. Except for the recent 35 years, China has been experiencing ongoing wars and in-fights for almost 100 years. And also the imperial state of Ching Dynasty was very backward during its last years in power. That is why China was so poor and the people were so low in education and backward in many areas. It would take generations for the new Chinese to catch up with the western world. So I would ask our foreign friends to be patient. Chinese have a long history and good sets of moral standard. I am sure China would contribute to the well being of the entire world.
shame to ALL chinese in the world? collective guilt? wow.
my god, Hong Kongers are such bigots, having lived in Hong Kong I know this for a fact, get off your high horse for god's sake, so yes, your from Hong Kong, but what about your parents,your grandparents, your great grandparents kk? whenever Hong Kongers insult mainlanders, you are in essence damning your own ethnic background, bc ETHNICALLY you are chinese. To your point I lived in Hong Kong and was born and grew up in Toronto, Canada, where there's a huge population of Hong Kongers who live in the suburbs, I can assure you, Hong Kong individuals need better social education too, as many of them are also rude, loud, bigoted indivuals who believe they're better in comparison to their "Mainland Counterparts" and living in the U.S. I know for a fact that most people don't really make the distinction between HK and Mainland China




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