Enraged passengers open exits on delayed China flight | News | DW | 11.01.2015
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Enraged passengers open exits on delayed China flight

Delayed air passengers opened three emergency exits, aborting their flight's takeoff from Kunming, according to Chinese state media. Twenty-five passengers were detained after China's latest 'air rage' incident.

Passengers frustrated by China's fast growing but delay-plagued aviation sector opened their plane's exits on Saturday, forcing the China Eastern flight to taxi back to the terminal.

China's state news agency Xinhua said the incident happened early on Saturday morning when China Eastern's flight to Beijing was delayed by a snow storm.

Passengers had been left waiting in their seats for hours as ice was removed from the plane's fuselage. The flight had already been delayed for five hours before boarding.

Pair accused of inciting passengers

Kunming province police in an online statement cited by the AFP news agency said a man named Zhou and a tour guide identified as Li had been put in 15-day "administrative detention" for opening exits and "inciting" other passengers.

An unidentified passenger quoted by Xinhua said the flight's vice captain "swore and cursed" during the runway delay, leaving occupants worried he was unable to control himself.

Other delayed passengers later traveled on another flight to Beijing, Xinhua said.

Second biggest in aviation sector

China's air travel market has become the world's second biggest but the world's worst for flight delays, because of heavy traffic and military control of airspace.

Unruly behavior, some filmed and posted online, has become more frequent.

Last month, two women brawled on a flight from Chongqing to Hong Kong, during an argument about seating arrangements and a noisy child, according to Chinese media.

Chongqing's Morning Post newspaper decried what it termed as rude behavior by airline customers.

In another incident reported by Chinese media in December, a first-time passenger opened an emergency exit, reportedly to get some fresh air, as a flight from Hangzhou to Chengdu was preparing for takeoff.

Hot noddles flung

And, hot noodles were flung by a Chinese tourist, scalding an AirAsia flight attendant, during a flight to China, forcing its crew of a budget flight to return to Bangkok and make an emergency landing.

Ensuing social media discussion was intense and focused on China's tourist reputation.

Last month, Chinese state media said authorities were planning to build a third airport in Beijing to handle the rising demand for air transport among China's growing middle class.

Lengthy tarmac waits prompted US aviation authorities in 2010 to require planes to return to the terminal after a wait of three hours.

Last July, Germany's Lufthansa signed a partnership with Air China, aiming to forge a stronger presence in the Chinese aviation market.

ipj/jlw (dpa, AP, AFP)