Women Seeking Duty Free Bargains Cause Airport Mayhem
Security gates were closed and
dozens of flights delayed at OKA after 3 female tourists in search of duty free
bargains wandered into secure areas.
The 3 women from China were
waiting for a connecting flight to Tokyo at Naha Airport in Okinawa when they
decided to go off and look for duty-free shopping, the Ryuku Shimpo newspaper
reported. Somehow they ended up in the baggage reclaim area and at the departure
gate. That's when the chaos started.
Alarms were sounded and 6,300
pax were ordered to go through security checks again. 5 flights were grounded,
25 others were delayed and, as the milling crowds built up, airport staff were
forced to climb on desks and use megaphones to yell instructions.
In the wake of a series of
well-publicized events featuring Chinese travellers behaving badly, the
incident has provoked heated discussion on social media in China, the HKG-based
South China Morning Post reports. Some accuse the women of being an
embarrassment to the country and have called for them to be banned from further
Recent incidents involving
Chinese travellers include hot noodles being thrown at a flight attendant, a
slide being deployed so a passenger could beat the crowds getting off a flight,
a door being opened on the tarmac to let in some fresh air and computers being
smashed in an airport terminal in reaction to a flight delay.
In December, China's National
Tourism Administration (CNTA) threatened severe punishment for disruptive
travellers after a video emerged of an angry passenger shouting a threat to
blow up a plane. That outburst came on the same flight where another passenger
had hurled a scalding bowl of hot water and noodles over a flight attendant.
It's all getting even more
attention than all those Americans continually forgetting they're packing heat
when they attempt to go through airport security… thousands of them annually.