Fellow passengers on a flight from Beijing to Shanghai on Sunday morning were more than a little perturbed when their take off was delayed by several hours after a kid somehow managed to sneak on board without a ticket.
Just before taking to the skies, cabin crew aboard the Juneyao Airlines flight discovered the miniature fare-dodger during their final passenger checks. Apparently, the 4-year-old girl had managed to sneak past the security checkpoint and the boarding gate with help from her family of two adults and two more children.
Afterward, all passengers were ordered off the plane and forced to go through security again while the family was detained. The flight finally took off about five hours later than scheduled.
Blame for the incident is being passed around on Chinese social media from the little girl’s sneaky family to incompetent airport security. Last year, a Sichuan teenager infamously managed to sneak into Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport and stowaway on a flight to Dubai.
However, Juneyao Airlines released a statement earlier today which said that the family would not be charged with any wrongdoing by China’s Civil Aviation Authority. According to the statement, the little girl’s parent thought that since she was under 120 centimeters, she did not need a ticket. Of course, everyone over the age of two needs a ticket and toddlers under two still need an infant ticket to fly.
The flight authority also clarified that only about 90 minutes of the five-hour delay was the family’s fault, the rest was due to “bad weather.”
Peculiar flight delays like this are a frequent occurrence on Chinese flights with passengers regularly opening emergency doors or assaulting cabin crew. Last year, the China National Tourist Administration introduced a national blacklist hoping to deal with issues like these — though, it’s not clear if the blacklist has a height requirement.
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