Travel advice

Travel advice

April 16, 2014, at about 1:00 am in the morning, Thai Airways flight TG674 en route from Bangkok to Tokyo about half an hour into the flight, three Chinese male passengers, all about 30 some years old, disrupted the flight and got into a brawl. One passenger picked up a knife and fork from a tray and stabbed another passenger. The victim was wounded and was bleeding. The plane landed in Beijing’s Capital Airport.

This all happened while the plane was in flight.

Two of the passengers wanted to sleep and one wanted to eat. The two slumbering passengers could not tolerate the loud noise the eating passenger was making while eating. The three got into a verbal argument, and it escalated into a brawl. One passenger picked up the knife and fork and stabbed another passenger. He was wounded and was bleeding.

March 28, 2014, at 16:50 hours, a Cebu Pacific Air flight 5J074 took off from Kalibo International Airport for Pudong Airport in Shanghai. After flying for 2 hours, the pilot was told that Pudong Internatiional Airport was covered with heavy fog and landing would be difficult. The pilot decided to land at Manila International Airport to wait for clearance from Pudong.

There were some 180 passengers on the flight, most of them Chinese tourists, including a Chinese tour group of 38 people. The flight waited at Manila Airport for 2 hours. Word came that Pudong Airport was now clear. The flight took off from Manila but 15 minutes into the flight, further word came that the flight could not land in Pudong because fog had set in again. The flight then turned around and landed in Kalibo. As the plane landed, one Chinese male passenger grabbed hold of the pilot and held him until airport security came and handcuffed the Chinese male passenger.

Chinese tourists have also disrupted European flights while in flight, but such incidents have been much fewer than on board cheap flights.

Chinese tourists are known to have caused disturbances on board flights out of Phuket, Thailand.

Chinese tourists have disrupted flights out of Africa by occupying the baggage loading area.

My sincere travel advice

Never book a flight scheduled for late afternoon or midnight departure. Try to book a morning flight. This is because Chinese tourists and Chinese tour groups tend to take the cheaper flights with departure times in late afternoon and at midnight.

Try never to book any flight that might have Chinese tourists or Chinese tour groups on board.

Most Chinese tourists and Chinese tour groups buy economy class seats.

Therefore, do not travel in economy class where there are Chinese tourists and Chinese tour groups.

Try business class and first class. In business class, there are still Chinese travelers but they tend to be businessmen who have had previous travel experience and therefore less likely to cause trouble.

Many such disturbances by Chinese air travelers have been caused by members of Chinese tour groups or individual Chinese tourists who have less experience with air travel.

When choosing a flight to and from Asia, try taking an American, Canadian, a European or a Middle East carrier. When traveling in Asia by plane, try taking a more expensive carrier.

If a flight with Chinese tourists or Chinese tour groups on board is delayed for more than an hour, try to get on another flight of another airline or book another flight that departs the next day. Never wait for the original flight at the airport for more than one hour.

According to Chinese airlines staff members, Chinese passengers become agitated and will cause trouble when they have to wait at the airport for more than two hours. Non-Chinese travelers have more patience than the Chinese travelers.

After waiting for two hours, Chinese travelers will “occupy” the airport counters, trash office equipment as well as meals provided by their airlines for the waiting passengers.
This happened twice at the Kunming airport.

At the Shenyang airport, a Chinese man arrived late at the departure gate. He insisted on boarding but was not allowed to board. So the man got into a fight with the security guard and beat the guard up. He also cursed the airlines for not allowing him to board.

While traveling in China, avoid air travel entirely. Take the high speed trains. So far, random stabbings of passengers have occurred only on public transportation, on city subways and city buses.

While in China, never help anybody who has fallen down in the street or sidewalk. I repeat, never help anyone who has fallen on the street to get up.


About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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