Unhappy with a 9-hour delay and demanding compensation, Chinese passengers of a
Hong Kong Airlines flight on Nov 16 staged a protest which started at
Singapore's Changi Airport, refusing to get off the plane when it landed in
Hong Kong, and continuing to protest at Hong Kong International Airport.
The Airbus 330 carrying 159 passengers had been delayed in Singapore for almost
nine hours due to a technical fault, The South China Morning Post reported.
Tensions were already high in Singapore when some of the passengers blocked an
airport walkway after they were told the flight would be delayed.
The airline could not be reached for comment but a spokeswoman told The South
China Morning Post that the passengers had been offered meals and drinks at
Singapore while another aircraft was prepared.
The tense scene at Changi Airport.
When the plane landed in Hong Kong at around 5.30am on Nov 16, 80 of the 159
passengers staged a sit-in and refused to leave the aircraft. The airline's
offer of HK$400 (US$65) to compensate each passenger was rejected and more
money was demanded.
Fifty nine passengers gave up their sit-in and left the aircraft at 9:00 am but
the remaining 21 - including a tour group from Shenzhen and four travellers
from Hong Kong - remained on board. Ninety minutes later they agreed to
disembark, but they continued their protest inside the airport
The protest finally ended around 1:30pm when the airline reportedly raised
their compensation to HK$1,200 each.
"The amount of the compensation is not important. Their (Hong Kong Airlines)
attitude was very poor," one of the passengers from mainland China was quoted
as telling Hong Kong's iCable TV.