Pax Open Emergency Exits On Taxiing Plane To Protest Delay

Open Jaw

Stuff happens that can result in flight delays. Weather happens. Mechanical problems happen. Congestion happens.

But there have been an alarming number of incidents where angry Chinese pax have acted out in bizarre ways.

The most recent took place this past weekend, when at least 2 MU pax opened emergency exit doors as the plane was taxiing, forcing it to abort takeoff. The incident took place in the southwestern city of Chengdu, after the flight was delayed by a snowstorm.

Angry pax complained about the delay and a lack of ventilation. The plane’s ventilation system had been turned off for 30 min. during deicing work to prevent fumes from entering the cabin, China Eastern maintenance engineer Zhu Yun told state broadcaster China Central Television. Although the co-pilot was dispatched to explain, pax remained irate even after the plane left the gate.

That’s when a man surnamed Zhou opened 3 emergency exits to prevent the plane from taking off, forcing it to return to the gate. A total of 25 pax - all members of a single tour group- were held for questioning while the rest continued on to Beijing aboard a separate flight.

“Opening those doors was extremely dangerous because there was nothing to protect passengers from the force of the engines,” Zhu said.

Kunming police said in an online statement that Zhou and a tour guide named Li have been placed under 15 day “administrative detention” for opening the doors and inciting passengers with false information.

The names of those found to have been involved will be placed on a “national uncivilized traveller record,” to be distributed to travel related businesses around the country, China’s National Tourism Administration spokesman Zhang Jilin said.

Names can remain on such lists for up to 18 months, during which travel agencies can decide whether or not to accept listed travellers.

The tourism spokesman also said travel agencies were responsible for informing their clients about acceptable behaviour. The poor agencies – it really is difficult to imagine what kind of ridiculous things you would have to come up with to caution your clients about.

(will not be published)