More than 70 passengers staged an 18-hour sit-in on a Hong Kong Airlines plane after their flight to Shanghai was delayed late on Friday, saying they had been left without food and drinks for 13 hours, Headline Daily reported on Monday.
The carrier denied the passengers’ accusations, saying it had arranged for them to disembark and provided them with meal vouchers. And for those who insisted on staying aboard, the company said it had also provided water and air-conditioning.
Pictures believed to have been taken by a flight attendant showed the mess left by those who occupied the plane. The sky kitchen had been overturned and all the food and drinks were gone. It was also said the door of the washroom had been broken.
A flight attendant said they had distributed meals, coffee and other drinks to the passengers right after the delay was announced, the report said.
Some 200 passengers were aboard Flight HX234, which had been due to fly from Hong Kong to Shanghai at 9pm on Friday, but was delayed due to mainland air traffic control.
Most of the passengers accepted an offer to transfer them to a later flight, but 77 of them were not satisfied with the arrangement, saying they had been offered only HK$200 (US$25.80) in compensation and no accommodation.
The protesters then aired their complaints through social media and the People’s Daily, saying they had no food or drinks for 13 hours and the air-conditioning had been turned off during their protest.
One passenger also told the People’s Daily their protest was “not about the money” but the airline’s attitude, adding that it should offer them “a reasonable amount of financial compensation”.
The passengers left the plane at about 3pm on Saturday after the airline was said to have increased the compensation offer to HK$800 each and apologized to them.
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