So, I have written before about flying within China on local airlines and how scary it is but as I read the article in the Shanghai Daily today, I was once again shocked at the lack of safety and common sense. Holy. Hell.
I’ll summarize but you can read it for yourself at: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/national/No-smoke-without-ire-on-flight-to-Beijing-/shdaily.shtml
So, a passenger was smoking in the bathroom on a flight to Beijing from Chengdu. Are you outraged and shocked? Don’t be-happens all the time. The flight attendant actually had the backbone to take away his cigarettes and matches (you think???) and probably yelled at him for drama and good measure for making his job difficult.
Later after the flight was diverted due to bad weather in Beijing and they had to refuel in Taiyuan, the Boeing 737 with 150 passengers had to have a refueling on the runway while they waited to take off again on their journey. While this was going on, not one BUT FIVE passengers were seen smoking at the open cabin door next to the oil tanker. Can you say, “BOOM!”
What did the crew do? Did they immediately arrest the passengers and stop this crazy stupid behavior? No way–they did nothing according to the story in the paper. WHAT??? After passengers called the police and they talked to the captain, he declined to do any security checks because he was “already badly behind schedule”. I guess the captain was quoted as saying, “They can smoke as long as I agree.”. If the plane had blown up due to these passengers bad behavior, then he might have had to rethink his logic. Maybe if he wasn’t toast.
Of course, passengers asked for compensation for their distress and were given 1,800 Yuan and a refund of their ticket. Luckily, they also got to walk away with their lives. Asked how the matches made it through security checks, the Chengdu airport said it would try to improve. Here’s hoping as the only way to get to Chengdu is to fly and I’m sure I’ll be going there at some point for work. Maybe I should pack a fire extinguisher in my carry on–I know security will probably let it through and it might come in handy.