• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 11:15pm
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
Flight MH370

Flight MH370 relatives meet again in Beijing to get search update from airline

Starved of news since aid centre shut, they reiterate demands and detain airline staff

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 May, 2014, 5:20am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 May, 2014, 9:10am

More than 100 relatives of the 154 missing Chinese passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight 370 met in Beijing last week seeking news of the hunt for the airliner. Some of them briefly blocked a conference room exit, preventing airline staff from leaving when the meeting ended.

The relatives have been filtering back to the capital for two weeks since they were persuaded to leave a family-assistance centre set up at the Lido Hotel in Chaoyang district.

Friday's meeting was attended by a working group set up to consult with relatives. But the Malaysia Airlines employees were prevented from leaving until uniformed and plain-clothes police arrived and the relatives scattered.

Some relatives from outside Beijing said they had returned to the capital because communications with Malaysia Airlines had ceased after they were persuaded to leave the assistance centre earlier this month or sent home by local government officials.

The group met in Shunyi , near Beijing Capital International Airport, to reiterate their demand that airline staff provide raw satellite data and more information about the missing Boeing 777 plane, which vanished from civilian radar an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.Satellite data indicate it probably crashed in the southern Indian Ocean but an international air and sea search has turned up nothing.

Many family members remained in the city after Friday's meeting, while others returned to their homes in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei vowing to reconvene in the capital tomorrow.

"I couldn't eat or sleep [because] I hadn't heard a word from Malaysia Airlines after I went home," said Gao Jianjun from Inner Mongolia . "I was helpless."

Gao said his only source of information was an unofficial family-support group set up on Wechat, a social network, where relatives can share news updates related to the flight.

When word spread that a relatives' aid group had decided to draft an open letter to Malaysia Airlines requesting a substantive update on MH370, people said they would return to Beijing to deliver the letter together.

They arrived by train or plane from Shandong , Hebei and Henan .

The airline representatives said they would convey the working group's letter to headquarters and return with an answer in writing tomorrow.

Meanwhile, some of the relatives allege that they have been contacted by a Shanghai law firm purporting to represent the Malaysian carrier to discuss compensation.

"I'm so upset to hear the term 'compensation'. It's like suggesting my son is dead. I will not let him go without seeing any evidence," said Wen Wancheng from Shandong .

Song Jun, an employee of Malaysia Airlines, said it had offered a preliminary US$50,000 payment to help families cope with financial difficulties.

Jiang Hui, a spokesman for the relatives' aid group, said: "We want detailed answers. And we need them on a deadline."

Relatives said they were angered by the lack of hotels and dining facilities in the vicinity of the venue for Friday's meeting, which lasted several hours.

"It seems that they chose the office [location] on purpose to keep us away, because it is so remote," Wen said.


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Provide A Memorial For The Passengers & Families Of MH-370 By Preventing Fatal Crashes - The flight recorders should be data streamed to ground in real-time and proactively used to prevent crashes
The US, due to the influence of the Airlines, Aircraft Manufacturers and Pilot Associations, won't fix the dark-age, restrict the data, killing system,
because of fear of liability. They have successfully lobbied to keep the flight
recorder data private. This fear has kept the safety critical Digital Flight
Data Recorder, DFDR, data from being streamed to the ground in real-time and
used proactively to prevent crashes. Similar to the US, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) hasn’t called for or allowed the DFDR data to be used in real-time also out of the fear of liability to its members. The only hope lies with China in making the DFDR public and used in real-time to proactively prevent crashes.
It would allow the world to know an aircraft’s position, velocity and
heading every second. Always remember that the remote flight recorder, data
streaming black box, can be used in the present autopsy mode of post-crash
analysis but proactively, and more importantly, it can also be used to prevent
fatal crashes (see: the web site safelander). It will make air travel more economical, safer and its nations more secure.
"Relatives said they were angered by the lack of hotels and dining facilities in the vicinity of the venue for Friday's meeting, which lasted several hours."

LOL, write a letter to your congressman.
Move on people. Theres no development in the search, so thats why no update.
Oh, i forgot, update means free buffet & rooms at the hotels.
this will not be a call,to which you get to make
you re on to it: The CIA has big part to play in this also and has use public and media deception to divert global attention of contimplated conspiracy in the manner to draw out confussion to the disappearance of Malaysia Airline MH370 location and where abouts
secondly i feel the Malaysia Government has been put under major pressure to deliver the best of the best information dealt to them as to what they could access and what was given to then to work with from international advisers -as also being that a lot of that information given was not consistent and relevent to the exact flight programme and dispurted development of the planes where about and mysterious destination
they probably expected it to be "on the house" also


SCMP.com Account