China United Airlines has apologized and is offering compensation of 1,800 yuan to 23 passengers after six people were caught smoking during a flight from Chengdu to Beijing.
First, a male passenger was found smoking while inside one of the plane’s toilets about an hour after the aircraft took off from Chengdu. The man was asked to hand over his matches and cigarette to a flight attendant.
Two hours later, the plane was diverted to Taiyuan City in Shanxi province because of bad weather. While the plane was parked, five passengers were seen smoking on the stairs, stirring up safety concerns among the other passengers who later pointed out that the fuel tank was right beside them. After the flight attendant stopped the smokers, one threw his butt on the ground and stepped on it, according to a video taken by one of the passengers.
Upon landing in Beijing, around 30 passengers refused to leave, demanding an explanation and compensation from the airline.
“The captain even said ‘they can smoke as long as I agree,’” according to one passenger.
China United Airlines yesterday offered a formal apology in response to their complaints.
“The passengers evaded airport security checks and brought matches and cigarettes onto the plane,” the airline said in a statement.
It added that if staff violations were found during investigation, they would be dealt with “severely”.