airport rage

Passengers go on rampage in Henan airport as snow grounds flights

Disgruntled passengers, many of whom had been waiting since Wednesday, were eager to board their flight on Thursday, the end of the week-long Lunar New Year break

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 3:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 3:13pm

Violence and chaos paralysed central Zhengzhou's Xinzheng International Airport on Thursday after more than two  thousand travellers were stranded as flights were cancelled in snowy weather.

Disgruntled passengers, many of whom had been grounded in Henan city since Wednesday, were apparently eager to board their flight on Thursday, the last day of the week-long Lunar New Year break. So eager, in fact, that many vented their frustration and anger by attacking airline staff and vandalising airport facilities, the Henan Business Daily reported.

Hu Xiaoyu, an airport co-ordinator, said she was attacked by a woman who broke into her office at 9am and poured a bottle of soft drink over her head.

Watch: a compilation of the most popular airport rage videos from around China

"I had been working for 30 hours non-stop and had only had one meal in between," Hu told the Daily. After the assault Hu's attacker simply walked away.

Pictures shared on Weibo showed smashed counters, littered floors and chaotic scenes at the ariport.

"Passengers have gone nuts ... they've destroyed our counters and computers" wrote an airport worker on Weibo along with a photo she posted.

"We've been working for 24 hours and we dare not go out fearing we might be attacked."

Yang Li, a worker of China Southern Airlines, told the Daily that the airlines had done their best to arrange hotel accommodation for the waiting passengers. Yet many had failed to arrive in time for boarding when their flight was finally ready to leave. 

Yang said some passengers had worsened the situation by disrupting the work of air crews. 

On Weibo, photos of conditions at the airport drew criticism and sympathy from net users. Many said the passengers who had attacked airline staff should be arrested  .

"Where were the police? Those people should be locked away," many wrote.

Others suggested airlines blacklist violent passengers.

Airport rages are common in China. Last year, a former Yunnan county official whose airport meltdown in February was caught on camera and went viral, received a prison sentence of six months.


Read more China Insider stories by Amy Li or follow her on Twitter