Who's behind the curtain in row 61?

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 July, 2011, 12:00am


Some passengers on board the same flight as Lai Changxing said they could not believe they had been travelling with China's most wanted fugitive, because there were no special security arrangements on the flight.

There was no in-flight announcement that Lai was on board, and the most obvious sign of something abnormal was that one section of the plane's economy class section was curtained off.

Canadian media reported that Lai sat in row 61 on flight AC029. He was accompanied by local security officers and he looked relaxed.

While Canadian Border Service Agency officers were deployed at the boarding gate in Vancouver to see Lai off, security at Beijing Capital International Airport was no tighter than normal yesterday.

Journalists were able to gather at in the airport to await Lai's return.

'The flight was smooth,' said a Beijing passenger. 'But I thought it was odd that a section at the back of economy class was cordoned off with a curtain. I wondered why there was such a partition, just like the one separating us from business class.'

This passenger also found it strange that passengers had to wait for at least 20 minutes after getting off the plane for their shuttle bus to arrive to take them to the terminal.

'There were not many passengers on board, but it was a long wait until the shuttle bus arrived,' she said. She believed this was due to Lai getting off the plane first.

Another traveller, Chris Sanden, said there was no tightened security on board and he was not aware of there being a fugitive on board.

A passenger from Taiwan said she thought the airline had followed proper procedures.