Chinese air passenger detained after trying to escape plane that had been left sitting on tarmac for several hours

Man locked up for 10 days after his patience snapped following series of delays and diversions

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2018, 2:38pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 August, 2018, 6:53pm

A Chinese air passenger whose patience finally snapped after his plane was left standing on the tarmac for several hours was detained by police after he opened an escape hatch without permission, local media have reported.

The Hainan Airlines flight had been due to fly from Taiyuan in the northern province of Shanxi to the southwestern megacity of Chongqing on Wednesday evening but its departure was delayed for several hours, Chengdu Business Daily said.

Bad weather then forced the pilots to divert the flight to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where it landed at 2am on Thursday. Then, to compound passengers’ woes it was kept waiting on the runway for a further four hours with passengers forced to stay on board.

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Eventually one man from Tianjin, surnamed Xue, lost his temper at 6.20am, despite appeals from the cabin crew to stay in his seat.

The flight’s security officer intervened and handed the 27-year-old to the police, who gave him 10 days’ detention.

Eventually passengers were allowed to leave the plane and taken to hotels where they were able to get some rest.

It was not clear how the airline was planning to get the passengers to their final destination, although it is obliged to do so under Chinese aviation regulations.

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Another passenger named Liu, told the newspaper that passengers had not been given any food or water while they were waiting on the runway.

Long and unexplained delays before passengers are allowed to disembark are a frequent complaint among air travellers in China and the airlines are not obliged to offer any compensation in these cases.

The airline has not offered any further explanation for the long delays apart from the bad weather that had forced the plane to divert to Chengdu.