• Fri
  • Oct 31, 2014
  • Updated: 6:46pm
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

what a chump you are. it's not how much they took, but the fact they took it that was the point. didn't your parents teach you any basic manners?
i presume you don't think there is a problem if the same guy drank 8 bottles of 50 mL wine? how is this different from the guy took 8 bottles? i am NOT approving either behavior but bad behavior is not unique to chinese. if you fly enough, you will see bad behavior is common among american also and i am not going to jump up and down ....
So Amy Li does know it is not that provocative and she added the unrelated short video to make her writing more tasty.
And that video is well edited with background music !
There may be payback already; my last time in Paris, at a sidewalk cafe, a mainland couple grabbed the elbow of a waiter to get his attention from another table. After the very short conversation the waiter and staff then purposely ignored the couple for the remaining 45 minutes I was there....
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?
I do not agree with you.
I am Chinese, and I am ashamed by these behavior. We should put a stop to this.
How the Americans behavior is their business.
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...
hard times !
it is indeed a shame to all Chinese in the world, especially those live on Mainland China where greed and dishonesty have both become a norm of lifestyle or a symbol of moral decline, to be sure. Rising as the No.2 world economic power and the No.1 military power is nothing if her wealth doesn't bring along with civilized manners in public places, especially in foreign lands ! How can you expect other nationalities to respect you if you don't respect yourself/ yourselves ? These two guys from Wuhan are a shame to themselves and all Chinese indeed !
When did China become No.1 military power?
No. 1 military power? Not yet but perhaps in 30 - 40 years if China is a stable country and US power continually declines.




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