• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 1:13am
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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This article is now closed to comments

Dung Tran
Well, you see one; you see all!
Do this in HK airport and see what happens.
cx will turn the plane around and get you driven out to meet it
In colonial days when extraterritoriality applies to the "expatriates", no one dares to touch them. Seems with China's new affluence, no one dares to touch the travelling middle class for fear of losing their custom or business. So who says wealth is not everything?
johnfra. history shows the "white" race got "extraterritoriality" (love that word, thx), not only in asia, also in africa and "lands of the colored people" NOT because they had $$$, rather they had guns. with guns, they acquired $$$. gun+$$$ = respect. the "belligerent" chinese tourist got only $$$, $$$ with no gun = NO RESPECT -:).
Don't be too simplistic, China has a population of over 1.3 B spread out over a huge geographic area, the total population is almost 2 times that of the entire Europe combined, can you figure out the diversity of these people, what you see on a certain individual is not representative...
Try to imagine how the bureaucracy of a single country managing all the people of 10's of countries together. Think about the problems in food, education, and also control if you like, and how to make them behave properly.
Letting people to go out to see the world is the best way to educate the Chines people, but it take time, in time both China as a country and the Chinese would behave better. Let us be patient.
Well Chineses keep remembering the whole world about there 4000 now 5000 and soon 6000 years of history and culture, they were some of the first culture to travel abroad and do commerce if that is not long enough , how long will it take? The 1.3 billion is not relevant in a case like this, Japan has a more dense population than China and people are more respectful of law. I have seen man like this one before in China at airport you see them all the tame. Truth is they often are official in country side and are use to be all mighty and they can't take no for an answer. I think most of Chinese behave well when travelling abroad, I think most of official from large province also behave well. What I do hope is that official like this one get dismissed of their position and that the good efforts of Xi Jiping to clear the party continues and help.
traveling helps to "civilize" a people. americans have been traveling aboard since 1950s but until today, in latin america, europe, we still have the "ulgy american" image.
When was the last time you saw an animal stealing wines?
Well sounded like someone in the seat of power and abuses it will do something like this!!! Shame shame shame shame shame!!!




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