Apparently, holiday cheer was in very short supply in Hokkaido, Japan over the weekend with dozens of Chinese tourists causing a ruckus and even clashing with police after being stranded at the airport due to heavy snow.
In the wake of numerous flight cancellations at the New Chitose Airport on Friday night, around 100 mainland Chinese tourists began angrily voicing their displeasure at around 8 p.m. Video shows that some of the travelers even made it past the departure gate and got into skirmishes with police who had just arrived to try and quiet down the situation.
No injuries were reported from the brawl.
According to the airport operator, around 28 flights were canceled out of the popular winter tourist destination of Hokkaido on Friday night following the most severe storm the area had seen in half a century. Nearly 100cm of snow fell on nearby Sapporo, the largest city on the island, leaving 6,000 people stranded overnight at the airport.
On Saturday and Sunday, the weather did not improve much, and many travelers were forced to spend their Christmas inside the Hokkaido airport. While the surrounding area comes well-equipped with movie theaters, hot springs and theme parks, visitors had horror stories to tell of their stay, highlighted by Friday night’s clash with the police.
Sean Fitzpatrick, who was traveling with his wife and two young sons on Cathay Pacific told SCMP that he took his family out of the airport because he thought it had become “unsafe” following the fights.
“It was absolutely crazy that the situation flared up so quickly,” he said. “The group started chanting and made things very tense and wrapped the atmosphere up into almost a riot situation.
“We’ve got two young children who witnessed a lot of things that terrified them and actually upset them.”
So far, Cathay Pacific has flown 1,600 stranded Hongkongers back home, and still plans more special trips today and tomorrow to pick up more passengers.
Meanwhile, passengers who flew on Hong Kong Airlines are furious at the “grossly inadequate” compensation offer of HK$300 that the airlines has made after the travelers were stranded in Hokkaido for as much as 4 days with little help from airport staff.
Watch video of Friday’s fracas below on YouTube:
As well as via SCMP:
[Video via TBS / SCMP]