Mainland Chinese Passengers, Claiming Discrimination, Attack Hong Kong Airlines Staff Over Delays

Cross-border tensions come to a boil

Charles Liu , May 12, 2016 9:18am (updated)

hong kong airlines passenger attack

Poor behavior of airline passengers and tensions between Hong Kong and the Mainland are two frequent topics in the Chinese news, and they’ve now come together with an explosive result.

Six mainland Chinese passengers have been arrested by police for assaulting seven Hong Kong Airlines staff after they attempted to enter a restricted area of the Hong Kong International Airport.

Over a hundred passengers scheduled for flight HX304 en route to Beijing were delayed for more than six hours, causing passengers to loudly protest at around 2am. When a female passenger ran into a restricted boarding area, seven Hong Kong Airline workers attempted to stop her. This resulted in five other passengers coming forward to physically attack them.

Three male and four female Hong Kong airline workers were taken to hospital for medical treatment. Arrested for common assault are three male and three female mainland passengers, between 21 and 42 years of age.

hong kong airlines passenger attack

So far, this news story seems to be all about airline delays and not about the cultural divide that separates Hong Kong and mainland China. But according to an online post from mainland passenger and Weibo user “What Style Becomes of Words” that was caught in the delay, this whole story is all about discrimination against mainland Chinese:

They’re always discriminating against us mainlanders by refusing to resolve (this problem); and then they even knocked down an old lady. The most exasperating thing can be seen in the last pictures (posted below) in which these arrogant stewardesses can be seen insulting us mainland Beijingers by giving us supercilious looks. And then they have the nerve to tell us ‘You mainlanders aren’t all that important, for this is Hong Kong!’

The reason for the six hour delay wasn’t mentioned in reports, but a crippling rainstorm burst in Beijing at the moment of the plane’s departure.

hong kong airlines passenger attack hong kong airlines passenger attack

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor