Saturday, November 1, 2014   




Sit-in draws 'hijack' tag

Qi Luo

Monday, June 23, 2014

There were online blasts yesterday for the 70 passengers who held a Hong Kong Airlines flight to ransom, saying they were no better than hijackers.

The passengers had refused to leave the plane after their flight was delayed on Friday night and staged an 18-hour sit- in until they were given an apology and HK$800 each in compensation.

All the passengers eventually left for Shanghai on Saturday night.

Facebook user Ravel Chan said: "It feels like extortion."

Another user, Daisy Cheng, added: "They shouldn't occupy an airplane no matter what. It is equal to hijacking the plane."

A Sina Weibo user said: "Are they really willing to suffer that much to get so little in compensation? Is time not money?"

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Another said: "People fighting for few hundred dollars must really have plenty of time."

The airline said flight HX234 with 276 passengers on board was scheduled to take off from Hong Kong at 9pm on Friday. It was cancelled due to weather conditions and on the instructions of air control in Shanghai.

"As there was no scheduled time for taking off, the company asked passengers to leave the plane and to wait, and distributed breakfast and lunch tickets to those leaving."

Some refused to leave because they were dissatisfied with the arrangement.

A video taken by a passenger and uploaded to the internet complained they were trapped in the plane for 15 hours with no food and water.

The airline said there was water and the air-conditioning was kept on until all the passengers left the plane.

Flight attendant Candy Tong left messages online expressing her unhappiness with the way the passengers acted. She said drinks were served as soon as she and her colleagues learned of the delay.

It was the second sit-in the airline has experienced in two months; earlier, 31 passengers refused to leave a flight from Bali after an eight-hour delay.


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