• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 9:58pm
NewsHong Kong
AVIATION

Hong Kong Airlines staff may stage 'No Putonghua' protest after sit-in

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 4:25am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2014, 9:24am

Some Hong Kong Airlines staff have expressed support for a "No Putonghua" protest on July 1 after more than 70 passengers, mostly mainlanders, staged an 18-hour sit-in on a plane when their flight to Shanghai was cancelled.

Problems with the Hong Kong-Shanghai flight started at about 9pm on Friday after 276 passengers had boarded. Due to problems with mainland air traffic control, the passengers were asked to leave and offered alternative flights.

However, about 70 passengers, said to be mostly mainlanders, refused to disembark and occupied the plane for 18 hours. They finally left after the airline offered an undisclosed amount of compensation.

Watch: Hong Kong Airlines passengers stage 18-hour sit-in on plane

On Sunday, a message was posted anonymously on a Facebook page targeting staff of Hong Kong Airlines and prompting discussion of the incident.

The message suggested that the airline staff refrain from speaking Putonghua on July 1. The online post had received about 2,530 "likes" as of last night.

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An airline flight attendant, who asked not to be identified, said she had heard about the campaign from colleagues.

"I support it. But my concern is if it can really work," she said, adding that she would have to speak to the passengers in English instead.

An airline ground staff member said it was "very likely" he and his colleagues would join.

"I am thinking that I will talk to [mainland passengers] in Cantonese first, and act surprised when they speak Putonghua, just to tease them a bit," he said.

He was upset that the airline had not shown any appreciation of the cabin crew, who had acted professionally during the sit-in.

He said that the crew onboard the "occupied" plane last Friday has served food and handed out blankets to the passengers.

Some crew members even lent the protestors their portable phone "power banks".

"But the passengers took pictures of the crew and posted them on the internet after their phones were charged," the Hong Kong Airlines employee said.

An airline spokesman said he believed that its staff would do all they could to serve passengers in accordance with a professional code of conduct.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

Hollander323
The behavior of these Chinese tourist has obviously violated the rules laid down in the Guidebook for Civilized Tourism issued by the Chinese Government under the Tourism Law which came into effect Oct 2013. The Chinese government should follow up on the incident and take appropriate action against these misbehaving Chinese tourist.
elzach
The question is, could they "occupy" a plane overnight in the mainland? They would be arrested in 5 minutes. So, as others mentioned, they do it because they can. They take advantage of others' kind conduct. The lesson is, you cannot be nice to mainlanders, they will stomp you.
jiawang@adb.org
It's interesting how Chinese mainlanders on China Airlines will get out of their seats to get their overhead luggage even when the stewardess tells them to remain in their seat until the plane comes to a complete stop.
However, those same Chinese mainlanders on German, Dutch, Icelandic, American airlines, on landing, do NOT move until the plane comes to a complete stop.
A passenger revolt on an American airline would hare gotten them all arrested and banned as "terrorist" from the US.
jiawang@adb.org
It's interesting how Chinese mainlanders on China Airlines will get out of their seats to get their overhead luggage even when the stewardess tells them to remain in their seat until the plane comes to a complete stop.
However, those same Chinese mainlanders on German, Dutch, Icelandic, American airlines, on landing, do NOT move until the plane comes to a complete stop.
A passenger revolt on an American airline would hare gotten them all arrested and banned as "terrorist" from the US.
jiawang@adb.org
Mainland passengers should be glad the pilots did not "disappeared" them
like the mainland passengers on the Malaysian flight 370.
keithkklau@gmail.com
There is no way to compromise to such rude and uncivilized behavior. What a shame to HK airline to bow to the pressure of giving them compensation. Instead HK airline should sue them for occupying the flight illegally for compensaton.
CatherineOhlLaw
Behaving just like their government does as a rule : grab what does not belong to them, hang on to it and pretend they can do whatever with it. the name of the game is bullying, and the reason is they can, so they will.
josephbrahmana
Don't fly to China. No need!
pwdwong@gmail.com
In past experience of my travels, I've found in general most mainland Chinese nationals are rather demanding, rude and arrogant and lacks social manners to others...so the airline staff have my full support in their actions of protest....GO guys and girls and uphold your RIGHTS !!!!
michaelhctam@gmail.com
Hong Kong airlines is disgusting.
1. Ugly air hostess
2. Inexperienced rude staff
3. Entitled princess-syndrome that is characteristic of Hong Kongers.

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