Chinese authorities said four tourists who disrupted a Thai AirAsia flight last week seriously damaged the image of the Chinese people, Apple Daily reported Monday.
The China National Tourism Administration ordered them and their travel agency to be punished.
It told the Jiangsu provincial government’s tourism department late Saturday to suspend the business licenses of the travel agency and the tour guide for one year.
The four mainlanders are to be placed on a list of people with bad personal records, meaning they may be subject to restrictions on traveling overseas by air.
The tourists, including a couple, were reportedly upset after being told they couldn’t sit together when they got on to the budget flight from Bangkok to Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on Thursday, even after a flight attendant helped them change their seats.
Later the couple were asked to pay 60 baht (US$1.80) for hot water to prepare instant noodles.
The man demanded an invoice and shouted at a flight attendant, while the woman suddenly threw hot water and noodles onto the attendant, who was shocked and cried out.
The pair burst into a rage, the man threatening to bomb the plane and the woman pounding on the window and yelling that she wanted to jump out of the plane. Their two companions also threatened the flight attendant.
After the pilot flew the plane back to Bangkok, the woman was fined 200 baht and had to pay 50,000 baht in compensation to the flight attendant. The other three were fined 100 baht each.
When the flight arrived in Nanjing after a delay of one day, the couple refused to get off and demanded a written statement from the crew saying that nothing being circulated on the internet about their actions was true.
Social media was abuzz with the story on the weekend, most netizens mocking or condemning the tourists.
The foursome clearly didn’t get the message from President Xi Jinping, who said on a visit to the Maldives in September that Chinese should be taught to behave properly when traveling abroad.
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