Air China has denied that the late arrival of a flight attendant delayed boarding for a flight to Chongqing from Seoul, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday, citing the Chongqing Morning Post.
An earlier report by the mainland newspaper said a netizen surnamed Lee posted on his microblog account that when flight CA440 was due to board Saturday, all the passengers were kept waiting in front of the boarding gate.
A member of Air China’s ground crew explained that not all the flight crew had arrived, Lee said.
A photo posted online showed a flight attendant rushing to the gate with a smile on her face five minutes after the boarding time. Her hands were full of shopping bags.
On Saturday, a spokesman for the airline’s Chongqing branch said it was discussing what to do with the late-arriving flight attendant.
But then, Air China decided to change its story.
The airline called the media on Monday, saying boarding for the flight in fact began one minute earlier than planned.
Lee’s post went viral online. While many netizens criticized the flight attendant, some criticized Lee for making a big deal out of the incident, saying it could cost the flight attendant her job.
In a rebuttal on his microblog account on Monday night, Lee said not boarding on time because a member of the cabin crew was shopping is wrong, even if the flight didn’t arrive later than scheduled.
Lee said that all he tried to do was respond as a passenger to an airline that did not follow its code of operations.
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