China vows to punish tourists in Thai air rage assault

The Chinese couple were reportedly upset when told they could not sit together, and berated a crew member of the airline before pouring hot water on her.

BEIJING // China has vowed to severely punish the Chinese travellers who threw hot water and noodles at a Thai flight attendant over sitting arrangements.

The Chinese couple had also threatened to blow up the Thai AirAsia plane during a flight bound for Nanjing last Thursday.

China National Tourism Administration said the tourists disrupted the flight, hurt other passengers and “badly damaged the overall image of the Chinese people”.

It comes at a time when the Chinese are travelling more but also becoming notorious for rough behaviour.

More than 100 million people from China have travelled overseas this year – more than any other country. For years, the country’s tourism officials have been urging Chinese tourists to behave with civility when abroad, and even Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a recent visit to the Maldives, urged the Chinese not to litter and destroy coral reefs.

In the last incident, angry Chinese travellers uploaded photos and videos from inside a Thai AirAsia charter flight.

They said a Chinese couple berated a crew member of the budget airline before pouring hot water and throwing noodles at her.

They were reportedly upset after being told they could not sit together and even after a flight attendant helped them change the seats.

The flight returned to Bangkok and the pilot asked four Chinese passengers to disembark.

In footage aired by China’s state television CCTV, a male passenger loudly threatened to bomb the plane. He later said the attendant was scalded by accident during a tussle.After the plane turned back, the captain and the crew invited the passenger to discuss the situation and reached “an amicable conclusion”, Thai AirAsia said.

The Chinese tourism administration did not say what punishment the tourists could face, but the statement suggested that the lead tour guide for the trip be punished for failing to offer proper behaviour guidance and that the tourists be blacklisted for bad credit.

* Associated Press

Published: December 14, 2014 04:00 AM

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