Airport rage in Yunnan leads to prison time for ex-official

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 August, 2013, 11:08am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 August, 2013, 12:41pm

A former Yunnan county official, whose airport meltdown in February was caught on camera and went viral, has received a prison sentence for a moment of rage that has turned out to be costing him dearly.  

The People's Court of the Guangdu district in Kunming on Tuesday sentenced Yan Linkun, to six months in jail and a further one-year suspended sentence for a temper tantrum at the Kunming Changshui Airport. A video of the incident made headlines and has led to other clips depicting China's less well-tempered air travellers taking out their frustration with air travel service.

Yan was previously expelled from his post as a local county adviser and lost his job as vice-chairman of a Guandong subsidiary of Yunnan Mining. He also had to pay for the damages and returned to the airport to apologise, the Kunming Daily said

Yan and his family of four were flying from Kunming to Guangzhou on February 19. After having breakfast near the gate they asked to board their flight some 20 minutes before the scheduled departure, but were told that the gate had already been closed. Yan had to buy a ticket for a later flight, which he missed again, sparking his violent tantrum. 

Yan's infamous incident has become an example of airport rage, in which such travellers are now being called kongnuzu or "air rage tribe" on the internet. His case is unusual, however, because most others are caused by the overwhelming number of flight delays in the country.

Only 18.3 per cent of the 22,019 flights departing from the Beijing Capital International Airport were on time in June, the US-based data provider for air travel FlightStats said in a report last month.  

Recent air rage attacks: