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China: Around The Nation

Chinese woman held for refusing to turn off mobile phone on plane

Police alerted after passenger on flight to Beijing refused to heed cabin crew’s safety warnings

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 10:40am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 January, 2017, 10:40am

A Chinese woman has been detained in Beijing for refusing to turn off her mobile phone on board a plane even after repeated warnings from flight attendants.

The woman passenger was taken away by police at Beijing airport after getting off the flight from Harbin in northern Heilongjiang province, the Ministry of Public Security said on its social media account on Monday.

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Footage released by the ministry showed the woman playing on her tablet computer on the aircraft. She was later also caught using her mobile phone even after air stewardesses repeatedly warned her to turn it off.

The aircraft carrying more than 100 passengers was travelling at an altitude of about 3,000 metres when the woman refused to switch off her mobile devices, according to the ministry.

It did not say for how long the woman was detained or if she received any penalties for her behaviour.

Many airlines require passengers to power off their mobile devices on the plane to avoid their signals interfering with aircraft communications systems. This is particularly critical during take-off and landing when the aircraft is considered most vulnerable.

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As China’s Lunar New Year holiday travel rush kicks in, the ministry said it would continue to deal strictly with any violations.

In October, another Chinese woman, also from Harbin, was detained for refusing to turn off her mobile phone on a plane.