Nothing is too crazy to happen at least once, and so it is that another story reaches us from Beijing where two passengers missed their Air China flight and then made their way onto the tarmac to block the plane from leaving.
This obviously required them to breach through at least one door that leads down to the aircraft and to circumvent staff that is supposed to secure the gangway and prevent these things from happening in the first place.
There seems to be no end when it comes to crazy stories from the Chinese aviation sector as their passengers appear to be wild and out of control.
Shanghai Daily (access here) reported about this latest obscurity.
A Chinese couple have been punished with a five-day detention for breaking into the apron field in Beijing Capital International Airport last week and standing in front of a plane, trying to catch the flight they had missed, the airport police said.
The incident took place at 9am on September 14 when the couple knocked down the airport’s security staff and rushed into the restricted apron area to prevent an Air China’s Flight CA1519 to Shanghai from taking off.
The wife stood in front of the tow truck of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with her luggage when the aircraft has left the boarding bridge to taxi to the runway, according to the airport police. …
When they rushed to the boarding gate, the aircraft was already about to taxi, the nation’s flagship carrier said. They then broke into apron field.
Several Air China officials arrived later to persuade the couple to leave but failed. The female said ‘there’s no way the plane could fly without taking her onboard”, while her husband also tried to persuade the officials to allow them get on, the airline said. …
The airport police then arrived 20 minutes later and held the female passenger who was screaming and crying when confronting the police.
They were detained for five days for disturbing public order at an airport. The aircraft resumed operation with its takeoff being delayed for 20 minutes.
Five days detention for this is very lenient. I’m surprised that apart from the infamous blacklist that prevent Chinese citizens from traveling abroad once place on it there are no harsher sentences announced by the government.
It looks quite funny to see the lady underneath the aircraft screaming at the people around her:
While the baggage screening checkpoints in Beijing are very strict and a total mess at times, the general security situation at airports and public places is rather limited. Policemen usually don’t carry weapons and even in a case like this where simple force would have been enough to pull the offenders back there was nobody available.
In fact it took the police twenty minutes to arrive at the scene. That’s an eternity! Yes, Beijing Airport is big but it’s sort of a concern to wait this long for the police to arrive when a passenger runs around on the tarmac and makes threats.
China needs to introduce tougher sentences for these air rage incidents and also improve the visibility and equipment of their police staff at airports and train stations. I’m not saying the police have to patrol the airports with automatic weapons like in Europe, but having a figure of authority visible would be a first step.
One problem is the attitude of many Chinese who don’t respect the regular police they encounter in daily life unless it’s an officer of the Public Security Bureau. By that time, most people realize they are in trouble.