Protests against flight delays and cancelations have become more frequent lately. However, these issues seem to be more severe in China, where heavy air traffic and tight military control of air space are causing a lot of problems for local and international airlines.
In the latest episode of flight rage among passengers, two unruly Chinese travelers decided to open up plane’s emergency exits to record their displeasure with delays. The doors were opened when the aircraft was taxiing, forcing the pilot to stop the plane from taking off and return to the gate, subsequently prolonging the delay.
The incident took place in southwestern city of Chengdu, where China Eastern Airlines observed a flight delay of three hours due to a snowstorm. Passengers started complaining about the ventilation system being shut off. It later turned out that the flight crew had to turn off the air vents in order to de-ice the plane to avoid fumes from entering the cabin.
A China Eastern Flight maintenance engineer said opening those doors was seriously dangerous, since there was nothing to protect passengers from the immense force of engines.
Two men, who names were only given as Zhou and Li, opened the emergency doors. They were both detained by the authorities shortly after.
Both have been placed under a 15-day "administrative detention" by the police. A total of 25 passengers - all part of a single tour group - were also held for questioning while the rest of the passengers continued on to Beijing aboard a separate flight.
Further investigations are underway to ascertain if any other passengers were involved in the incident. Everyone found guilty will be placed on a "national uncivilized traveler record," according to China’s National Tourism Administration.