Angry Passengers Open Emergency Exits on Delayed China Flight
After a flight was delayed, irate passengers onboard a plane opened three emergency exit doors in protest.
China Eastern Airlines flight MU2036 was supposed to fly from Kunming Changshui International Airport in southwestern China to Beijing on Saturday, but snowy weather conditions delayed the boarding process by five hours.
After sitting on the tarmac for another two hours because of the snow, passengers were informed that the air-conditioning would be turned off during the half-hour de-icing process.
At least two Chinese passengers decided to open the emergency exit doors in protest, just as the plane was pushing back from the gate.
The flight was canceled and 25 people from the same Chinese tour group were detained.
China's fast growing air travel market is the world's second biggest, but heavy traffic and tight military control of airspace have given it the world's worst record for flight delays.
Cancelations, delays and service complaints spark frequent incidents of air rage at airports and aboard flights, including those to and from foreign destinations. Brawls between passengers and attacks on crew are often filmed and posted online.
Concerns over lengthy tarmac waits prompted U.S. aviation authorities to pass regulations in 2010 requiring planes to return to the gate after three hours.
China's National Tourism Administration said it fully supported the police action and said it had ordered its Beijing and Kunming offices to carry out further investigations, suggesting more passengers could be implicated.
The names of all those found to have been involved would be placed on a "national uncivilized traveler record," to be distributed to travel related businesses around the country, administration spokesman Zhang Jilin said in a statement. Names can remain on such lists for up to 18 months, during which travel agencies can decide whether or not to accept listed travelers.
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