A group of 260 Chinese tourists were not happy when their Orient Thai Airlines flight from Bangkok to Chongqing got cancelled last Friday. What followed was an angry concert of screams resembling the Chinese national anthem.
Apart from voicing their disdain in this manner, passengers also had some rather interesting demands such a Boeing 747 to fly them them home.
The airline is not necessarily known for reliability and on time performance, nevertheless from reports of the Global Times (access here) Orient Thai offered to accommodate passengers overnight following the cancellation of their flight due to technical reasons and bad weather (probably more technical issues than weather because the rain here in Bangkok last Friday was not that severe that it warranted a flight cancellation).
Tempers first flared when nearly 260 Chinese passengers were informed that their flight, originally scheduled for 5:50 pm, was delayed three hours due to heavy rains and maintenance.
After the flight was delayed once again to 3 am Saturday morning, the group of passengers began venting their frustration in song.
Uploaded video shows the group of angry passengers demanding compensation at the boarding gate while loudly singing “March of the Volunteers,” China’s national anthem since 1949.
The video of the vocal group’s performance can be accessed embedded in a topic related article of The Shanghaiist (see here).
Some of the passengers were not happy with the overnight offer of Orient Thai.
“While some accepted the hotel accommodations arranged by the airline, some refused and demanded an additional 1,000-yuan ($157), a public apology from the airline and a Boeing 747 to send them home, posted Sina Weibo user “Traveler Jesse.”
“Those who refused to board the plane would be blacklisted by travel agencies, which could affect their ability to travel abroad in the future,” a tour guide was quoted by media as saying.
Shanghaiist elaborated on that
The customers demanding compensation also rebuked those who accepted the airliner’s arrangements, and accused their tour guide of being a “national traitor”.
The Chongqing tourism bureau ended up blacklisting 33 people who refused to embark. The plane eventually took off at 6:00 a.m. without them, and they took another flight home later that night.
With all these funny stories involving mainland Chinese tourists surfacing on a regular basis we could really feature these in a weekly special.
It’s good to see that China’s officials have introduced said blacklist to prevent the worst offenders from leaving the country for overseas holidays in the future (IF it works as designed – I doubt it).
While the passengers are certainly within their right to demand compensation for the inconvenience I think mob action at the airport will not get you anywhere. Bringing your countries national anthem into this might add additional embarrassment to the situation, something that the Beijing government for sure won’t like.