Hong Kong Airlines was criticized for allegedly failing to respond promptly to a passenger who left his passport on a flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai, forcing him and his companion Mario Ho Yau-kwan, casino magnate Stanley Ho’s son, to sleep over at the Shanghai Pudong Airport on Sunday night.
Ho and his friend had waited for several hours at the airport before airline staff recognized the tycoon’s son and recovered the missing passport within 10 minutes, Apple Daily reports.
Ho, 22, went to Shanghai to start a business after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He took to Weibo and posted a photo of himself dozing off on a sofa at the airport – while his business partner chose to sleep on the bare floor.
He said the airline’s staff were initially indifferent to their plight, but later gave a quick response to his friend’s problem after learning of Ho’s identity.
Ho also posted screen captures of his phone screen showing he had called the airline many times that night, and lamented that if not for his status as Stanley Ho’s son he and his friend could still be stuck at the airport.
He said they were angry because the airline seemed indifferent to their plight.
The least they could have done was be honest and let them stay in a hotel while waiting for the passport’s return, he said.
Ho said the double standard displayed by the airline in dealing with passengers was frustrating, adding that they probably got bad service because they flew economy.
It was not until after one of the airline staff recognized him that the passport was located in 10 minutes, he said.
Ho said he is just a young entrepreneur, and he and his partner have no reason to fly business or first class because their company is new and has yet to register any profit.
He said he hopes all passengers will be treated the same regardless of their air ticket.
Ho’s mother Angela Leong On-kei said all service companies should treat their customers fairly and equally, regardless of their class or status in society.
She told Ming Pao Daily that she herself doesn’t like to bandy about her husband’s name to receive special treatment, and neither does his son.
The Hong Kong Airlines apologized to Ho on its official Weibo, but explained that staff had taken a long time to find the passport inside the 60E seat pocket, hidden in between the pages of an inflight magazine.
Ho said he could not help but reply that the airline had done a poor job in managing its image, and that he was sorry he took the airline at all.
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