We always hear about various cases misconduct coming from air travelers in China but it seems that these same consumers are getting increasingly and rightfully testy with the bad treatment they received from the local airlines.
Just this week again news have made the rounds when Star Alliance carrier Shenzhen Airlines trapped people for 5 hours onbard the plane during a tarmac delay – without air condition.
This went up to the point where people passed out. Previously the same situation happened and the airline even asked the passenger to sign a release form.
While never famous for great service especially for domestic travel, are Chinese airlines going to far in how bad they treat their customers?
CGTN (see here), a news portal mainly for China based content had a story on this.
Some air passengers in China have vented their anger at Shenzhen Airlines after an aircraft form the airline was stuck on the tarmac for up to five hours, causing one passenger to faint due to stuffiness in the cabin.
Shenzhen Airlines responded to the incident which affected flight ZH9632 from Dalian in northeast China to the southern city of Shenzhen in an interview with the Yangtze Evening Post, saying that the aircraft was unable to connect to the ground power supply at Dalian’s Zhoushuizi airport and that the on-board Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) could not sufficiently lower the cabin temperature.
The airline also asked the woman who passed out sign a general disclaimer, usually issued to pregnant and ill travelers, confirming that the airline is not responsible for their condition.
Earlier this month, video filmed by a passenger showed a woman passed out due to overheating after a 2-hour delay. Some passengers complained that the flight attendants refused to turn on the air conditioning system to lower the cabin temperature.
Another video which circulated on social media captured a flight attendant asking passengers not to record what was happening with their smartphones.
According to the airline, the passenger insisted on continuing her journey after recovering whereupon flight attendants made her sign the disclaimer, which triggered a wave of criticism from netizens and lawyers.
Some countries such as the U.S. have now established rules for tarmac delays that restrict how long airlines are allowed to trap passengers while waiting for departure.
It appears that the code of conduct within Shenzhen Airlines doesn’t cover to properly care for their passengers on board and rather try to cover for the company if things go wrong. The summer in China can be extremely hot and without functioning air condition it’s just torture to keep people on the plane for hours.
An airline that’s a member of a global alliance should have proper policies in place and not act like a random charter carrier from the province. With all the flak that travelers who behave badly are getting it’s important to say that these incidents caused by the airlines in China don’t help the carriers case, especially now that everybody has a cellphone camera rolling when things go sour.