Air China was pushed back to the gate after complaints were made regarding a passenger’s lost phone.
On March 23, a passenger who left his phone at the terminal caused a 90-minute delay for passengers on Air China CA1550 after pushback. Another passenger, Mr. Pan, voiced his displeasure with the attitude of the staff during the delay and lodged an official complaint with Air China.
In response to the complaint, Air China stated that their policy of forbidding passengers from taking photos and enforcing order in the cabin was compliant with laws. Mr. Pan stated that he was not happy with the response and will keep bringing the matter to the attention of other pertinent authorities.Chinese aviation experts have emphasized that the decision to return to the gate in the event of an unforeseen circumstance on board an aircraft would be determined on the Captain’s judgment at the moment rather than a defined norm or law.
What took place?
Mr. Pan commutes frequently between Beijing and Shanghai for business. According to Nawen, he posted some information on the hampered flight on his social media platforms, recalling how it was preparing to take off when it abruptly reverted to a parking position. The flight attendants initially told him they didn’t know why.
“At first I thought there might be an issue with the aircraft, but then I saw a passenger go to the front cabin door and speak to the flight attendant, then I saw the cabin door open and he got out. At the moment, I felt rather odd. The transmission announced that a passenger had voluntarily cancelled the flight another 10 minutes later.
The tone in the cabin was still largely stable, despite the fact that everyone was feeling a little restless at this point. But according to Mr. Pan, no announcements addressing the reasons for the return or any information indicating how long they would be delayed were made while the airplane remained parked with the door open for another 30-45 minutes or more. According to reports, the purser informed Mr. Pan that the traveler had lost his phone and had freely chosen to exit the aircraft in attempt to find it.
However, the lack of information or announcement from the flight deck or cabin crew was starting to irritate passengers, and tempers were starting to flare.
police show up
According to Mr. Pan, the chief flight attendant was briefly surrounded by passengers before calling the police. When the police arrived, they advised the crewmember that rather than getting into a fight, they should be working with the passengers to keep things peaceful. Mr. Pan remembered that five or six additional passengers had also canceled their flights and left the aircraft.
“One of the passengers who got off sent me a picture, saying he saw the passenger who got off for his cellphone on the next flight to Beijing during rebooking,” the passenger who got off said.On March 31, Mr. Pan claimed to have a follow-up conversation for an hour and a half with the Air China cabin service division. The cabin service department asserted that more reports to higher-level departments were required since they lacked the authority to deal with the losses. He continued,
“Air China asserted that it complies with legislation when flight attendants forbid passengers from taking video in order to maintain cabin tranquility and prevent a backlash from the general public. She was unable to answer my question on the regulations.
The only type of compensation Mr. Pan has received from Air China thus far, he notes, is an apology, which he finds “totally unacceptable.”
voices on the subject
Public accounts in China claim that emergency situations, such as sick passengers on board or someone finding out abruptly that a loved one has passed away, frequently cause flights to taxi back.
The gate return incident that made headlines in 2021 involved China Southern Flight CZ6820, which postponed takeoff in order to save a little boy whose arm had been unintentionally amputated in Hotan. The boy was safely brought to Urumqi by the crew, who also managed to save the boy’s arm.
A senior couple on board requested to disembark the aircraft at Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport (HGH) in 2019 after learning of a family member’s passing. The flight was delayed by 50 minutes as a result of the crew’s decision to taxi back. After then, the majority of the passengers showed their knowledge.
According to industry experts, the crew’s decision to taxi back was legal and ensured the safety of the flight.
“The captain is responsible for the entire flight process of civil aircraft, and it entirely depends on safety,” states the Chinese Civil Aviation Law and the CAAC Regulations.
As stated in Article 126 of the Chinese Civil Aviation Law, passengers impacted by the taxi return are entitled to compensation.
“The carrier shall be liable for losses resulting from delays in the air transportation of passengers, baggage, or cargo; provided, however, that the carrier shall not be liable if it establishes that it or its servants or agents have taken all reasonable steps to prevent the loss or that it was impractical to take such steps.”