From Tencent News:
Passengers on Delayed Flight in Kunming Open Emergency Exits, 25 People Involved Under Investigation
The Beijing News report (Reporter Chen Yuanyuan) — This morning [10th] a passenger on Flight MU2036 at the Kunming Changshui airport made a microblog post claiming “The captain forcefully started the plane, and passengers opened the emergency exits, prepared to jump out.” This afternoon, China Eastern Airlines released a statement saying that as the plane was being pushed out [onto the runway to prepare for takeoff] travelers opened 3 emergency exits which led to the takeoff being aborted.
Around 2pm, this Beijing News reporter learned from the airport police station that 25 passengers involved in the incident are currently under investigation.
The microblog posts are not true, the captain did not by any means insult anyone
This afternoon, a representative from China Eastern Airlines stated, “Because of flight delays, the passengers were agitated, and the information posted on Weibo were all false.”
China Eastern Airlines’ statement showed that, yesterday, flight MU2036 from Kunming to Beijing, on a Boeing 737-800, was delayed until the early morning of the 10th before it could take off due to persistent rain, snow, and cold freezing conditions at the Kunming airport. As the airplane was being pushed out [away from the terminal gate], some passengers opened 3 emergency exits located above the wings. The takeoff was aborted and the airport’s public security department took those involved away for investigation.
The statement also said that the airline quickly coordinated new flights, provided assistance with rebooking procedures, and the other passengers have already smoothly departed on their flights. While waiting for the [original] flight involved and boarding, a small group of passengers refused to board, demanding compensation from the airline [for the delays], while employees present had promptly updated passengers of the flight’s situation, patiently apologized and explained, trying to placate travelers, with hopes that the travelers could set off as soon as possible.
“The captain didn’t allow passengers to exit the aircraft, shouted “unless you’re dying, just wait”
Today around 5 o’clock, netizen @风云者天行健 successively made multiple microblog posts, claiming “China Eastern Airlines captain insults/scolds passengers at Kunming Changshui airport and forcibly tries to take off. Passengers call the police without success, then open the emergency exits, preventing takeoff. Over an hour now and airport management has yet to send anyone [to handle the dispute]. “
The same traveller also claimed, “At about 3am several passengers from Xishuangbanna finally arrived. Air conditioning on the plane was turned off and some people collapsed from lack of oxygen. Passengers asked for ventilation or to be let off the plane to rest. Because it was snowing in Kunming at the time, some passengers were worried about flight safety and wanted to get off the plane, but flight crew would not let them off. When passengers consulted the captain, he shouted: ‘Are you about to die righ now? If not, just wait!’ He then slammed the cockpit door shut. By then, all of the passengers were standing in the aisle, and the left wing of the plane was still covered in snow. A member of the flight crew shouted: ‘The plane is still not ready for takeoff’ but suddenly it started moving. Passengers fell down and screamed in alarm to not let the out-of-control captain fly the plane!”
At this time, the aforementioned Weibo posts about Flight MU2036 have already been deleted.
Meanwhile, according to a report from Kunming Information News, the Kunming Changshui airport faced the first snowfall of the year yesterday, and as of 9pm yesterday, 83 flights had been delayed, 23 cancelled and 6 diverted. In total, 189 airplanes have completed de-icing.
Jeopardizing the Aviation Safety Convention
According to protocol set by the Montreal Convention, jeopardizing an in-use aircraft refers to vandalizing, damaging, or bringing hazardous materials aboard an aircraft, and any behavior that prevents an aircraft from flying or affects in-flight safety. “In-use” is the limiting definition.
Comments from Sina Weibo:
I don’t want to talk about how the passengers acted, but the Kunming airport, 9 out of 10 flights are delayed. The airlines and airport employees’ vile attitudes are unprecedented. I’ve been in the Kunming airport a lot over the last year, and somehow have never had a pleasant experience there, unique among all of China’s airports. Changshui Airport and the airlines both contemptuous about delays with an air of “what are you going to do about it?” and feel they don’t own any apology to passengers. This [comment] isn’t directed at this particular event, just at this disgusting airport.
Actually, I’ve read this [article] a bunch of times, and I still don’t get it [what happened]…
This 风行者 [referring to @风云者天行健 mentioned in the article] is fabricating rumors!!! Why are you still using his pictures to mislead netizens!!! Quick, upvote this post so this Weibo account owner sees this [comment]
Peoples’ characters really are getting worse and worse these days. When there are heavy snows and strong winds, airplanes are fundamentally supposed to consider the weather. Do you want to die from an airplane crash in bad weather or something? The airport indeed has places where it didn’t handle the situation properly, for not coming to placate people’s concerns, for not carefully comforting them, so people getting upset is understandable, but forcibly opening the emergency exit is ridiculous. You as an individual can’t wait anymore and you insist on doing something stupid that inconveniences everyone else on the plane. What the hell is wrong with you?
Put them on the black list! Ban them from taking a plane for the rest of their lives
I feel like some people think taking a plane is like driving in your own car, and you can just do whatever you want. They’re just completely retarded. Delays happen for a reason. If you’re already on the plane and it hasn’t taken off, its definitely because of the weather. Like fucking retards pissing and moaning about taking off as soon as possible. Why don’t you get your own plane and fly it yourself?
Is the law handicapped at times like these? These several law-breaking passengers, because they’re unhappy, they use all the passengers on the plane as weight/leverage. Whats the difference between this and hijacking? Why do our laws always have to follow those in America or Japan or Europe? Can we not make our own judgements/laws in accordance with our own circumstances?
Black list them! Forbid them from traveling by plane! They must be punished severely! Support the captain!
Whatever the case, opening the emergency exit without authorization is irresponsible and illegal behavior, that must be punished severely! Also, the people who say the captain forcibly tried to take off, he is under the direction of the control tower, so only when they tell him to go will he go. In snow and horrible weather, aren’t objective factors causing delays very normal? Should safety be ignored in favor of an on-time takeoff? Just because you are a customer doesn’t make you god, and just because you are the weaker party doesn’t make you right.
These kind of passengers should be recorded on an aviation black list. Who knows if they’ll willfully do something that could endanger the lives of others in the future.
My friend’s friend was on the plane. Actually it was because the airline wanted to combine passengers [from different flights into one, cancelling the others to save money], and it was only because there was an older traveller on the plane with heart problems who wanted to get off of the plane, whom the captain yelled at with something malicious like “if you’re going to die, then die”, while also refusing to turn on the ventilation and air conditioning systems, that passengers opened the [emergency] doors. The matter wasn’t as the news reported, okay?
Idiots on planes are even scarier than encountering terrorists
A captain daring to takeoff without permission from the control tower? You’re crazy [or, I can’t believe you guys can come up with this nonsense]… The first picture is obviously rumor mongering… Fucking, there really are more and more people who don’t understand a situation but still flame/criticize. For these problems that keep happening over and over again, there ought to be reasonable legislation enacted. For this kind of illegal behavior, there should be severe punishment. Nevermind how it [negatively] inconvenienced the entire plane’s passengers, it has also created a negative impression on people in the aviation industry. Don’t tell me, so the moment a person on the plane doesn’t want to fly, the plane should just stop? Hehe
These kind of people should be banned from airplanes for life! Their heads are full of mush!
The so-called problem of the captain “forcibly trying to take off” doesn’t exist. If he didn’t have permission for takeoff, the air force would intercept.
Delays are common, and when encountering vicious weather, delays are especially unavoidable. Any selfish behavior that endangers public safety and threatens the lives of other groups of people is not permissible! Safety must be the top priority of aviation. Every captain must comply with directions from the control tower, so it is impossible for them to have forcibly tried to take off.