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Korean Airport Protest

July 12th, 2005 . by Matt


The Choson Ilbo reports that Koreans had an impromptu protest against Cathay Pacific Airlines in Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok International Airport on Sunday.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways invited Korean ire on Sunday when it ordered a plane to take off from Chek Lap Kok International Airport on Sunday without 44 Korean passengers on board. The Korean passengers blame the incident on the carrier’s “insincerity” and are demanding damages, but Cathay Pacific says the Koreans were making unreasonable demands.

Cathay Pacific CX 416 was scheduled to leave Hong Kong for Incheon International Airport at 4:20 p.m. on Sunday. The airline delayed the flight twice, first to 5:30 p.m. and then again to 6:00 p.m.

The airline said it made four announcements of the delays, both in the terminal and at boarding gates. But with the airport bustling and the broadcasts made in English and Chinese, some of the Koreans were unable to understand them.

Imagine that, Cathay Pacific saying that Koreans make ‘unreasonable demands’!

Dozens of Korean passengers protested to Cathay Pacific staff at the boarding gate that the airline had delayed the flight twice but offered no explanation. They also demanded free transport once they arrived in Incheon and compensation for the delay.

The airline promised to provide meal coupons (HK$45), phone cards and transport according to its flight delay regulations. It says it also went beyond regulations in offering US$25 coupons toward in-flight duty-free goods and discount airline tickets during their next trip.

According to a friend who had coworkers on the flight, the Koreans were worried that once they reached Inchon there would be no transport out of the airport, and wanted the airline to guarantee that there would be transport.

The furious Koreans then started protesting vociferously, screaming and waving their arms. Alone among the 308 passengers, the 44 Koreans refused to board the aircraft. Attempts by the pilot to convince them fell on deaf ears.

The airline then decided to let the flight take off at 7:14 p.m. without the Koreans, explaining it could not delay any longer. At this stage some of the Koreans relented saying the most important thing was to get back to Korea first, and suggested the airline must have had its reasons. When the flight arrived at Incheon at 11:34 p.m., five buses were waiting to take passengers to their regional destinations.

So the passengers that boarded the flight were able to make it back home alright. And the Koreans that didnt board the flight…

The stranded passengers in Hong Kong demanded transport and lodging from the airline through a Korean consular official who came to airport. Cathay Pacific said they could use the next Seoul-bound flight on Monday afternoon but declined to provide accommodation.

Seven of the passengers returned to Korea early Monday morning aboard Asiana. The remaining 37 stayed up or slept in downtown hotels, returning aboard Cathay Pacific’s 2:20 p.m. flight, having paid for transport between the airport and downtown as well as lodging out of their own pockets. They plan to write to the airline demanding an official apology from a high-ranking Cathay Pacific official and compensation for losses they suffered because they were unable to board the Sunday flight.

The Korean passengers are asking for official apologies and compensation because the airline ‘forced’ them to remain in Hong Kong. Where have I heard ‘unreasonable demands’ for official apologies and compensation before?

13 Responses to “Korean Airport Protest”

  1. comment number 1 by: mae

    what can i say. i encounter this sort of korean claims everyday thing.
    while i like many korean individuals, i hate korea collectively, and this is perfect example of my reason.

  2. comment number 2 by: dogbert

    The universal lack of consideration and empathy for others is quite striking and evident in nearly every situation.

  3. comment number 3 by: RGM-79

    ” Cathay Pacific says the Koreans were making unreasonable demands.

    Koreans are always like that.

  4. comment number 4 by: Bob Reemus

    I have an unREALISTIC demand: Koreans learn humility.

    Koreans? Unreasonable??? The earth? Round????

  5. comment number 5 by: Gerry Bevers

    I think it serves as a good lesson for the Koreans, who seem to have arrogantly and unrealistically believed that a protest can solve anything. Protesting an hour and a half flight delay may seem silly to most people, but for many Koreans, who are used to protesting all kinds of trivial things, it may have seemed perfectly natural. Maybe, they will think twice next time.

  6. comment number 6 by: CB400F

    They should’ve been jailed for anti-social behaviours in the first place. I’m sick of them.

  7. comment number 7 by: Bruce

    i think obviously the guy the writes this page is a wanka and probably never met a korean or jap or even been to any of these countries…….pabo

  8. comment number 8 by: Matt

    i think obviously the guy the writes this page is a wanka and probably never met a korean or jap or even been to any of these countries…….pabo

    Perhaps you missed the parts where I have been replying to Koreans and Japanese that write to me in Korean or Japanese. If you want to continue this in Korean, feel free to do so. Lets see how many languages you can understand, ‘Bruce’.

    By the way, calling the administrator of a site a ‘wanka’ is the surest way to get your post deleted.

  9. comment number 9 by: Mask

    Bruce, Bruce, Bruce ㅡㅡ;;
    What are we going to do with you??
    You are a sorry piece of an excuse to give criticism to others when the only Korean or Japanese culture/people you know come from ugly girls that let you shag them because no one else will and teach you simple basic words during your ugly display of foreplay!!
    Bruce는 모든것을 몰라요!! ^^v

  10. comment number 10 by: Bruce

    would touch a korean or jap girl havent you heard about the explosion of Aids in korean and Japan…..population control i say

  11. […] Frequent commenter Darin has taken the baton and is reporting on a new wave of Korean airport protests. Occidentalism noticed the trend before, and reported here and here. […]

  12. […] seems that violent Korean airport protests are not at all isolated. Indeed, according to this article by the English edition of Choson Ilbo, […]

  13. […] seems that violent Korean airport protests are not at all isolated. Indeed, according to this article by the English edition of Choson Ilbo, […]