China Sets New Standard for Air Passengers Before Olympics
China is once again lifting the standards before the Games, and this time it is targeted towards air passengers who causes trouble. China will be punishing airlines whose passengers refuse to disembark or misbehave and protest when experiencing problems like delayed flights. The Olympics is just days away and the airport will soon handle about 20 percent more traffic than normal. The airline staff will not be able to handle another headache on top of the increased traffic.
Deputy head of the civil aviation regulator, Yang Guoqing, said enough was enough after numerous warnings to airlines to treat their passengers better appeared to have failed.
"We will severely punish airlines which experience aircraft occupations and other incidents as a result of service reasons which originate with the airline," Yang told a news conference.
"These measures include cancelling slots at corresponding busy airports."
During last year's Spring Festival, riot police had to be called to Beijing airport after passengers angry at fog-related delays roughed up airline staff, attacked service counters and tried to storm grounded aircraft.
Former chief regulator Yang Yuanyuan told Reuters late last year that the threat of thunderstorms in August could be a big headache for air traffic controllers and passengers alike.
They are trying to keep passengers more informed about the delays to minimize problems.
Yang said customers must also be kept better informed about delays, especially those caused by bad weather, a big issue in China.
"If there is bad weather, for example, we will tell the media to publicize it so that passengers can be informed ahead of time and avoid long waits at airports due to the weather," he added.