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China Eastern Airlines to compensate passengers affected in flight disruptions
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08:03, April 09, 2008

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China Eastern Airlines (CEA) will offer compensation of up to 400 yuan (57 U.S. dollars) to passengers affected in flights where pilots deliberately turned their aircraft around.

Passengers whose flights were canceled will get 400 yuan compensation. Those delayed within two hours of departure and without accommodation would get 100 yuan. Those delayed within eight hours of departure would get 200 yuan, said an official with the Yunnan branch of the carrier on Tuesday.

The compensation was set according to a guideline notice released by the general Administration of Civil Aviation, the official said.

From March 31 to April 1, 21 flights returned to their departure points in Yunnan Province, in southwestern China, leaving more than 1,000 passengers stranded at Kunming Airport, the capital of Yunnan.

"The time and energy we have wasted could never be compensated by 400 yuan," said Yu Xiaoyan, a tourist from the northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Yu planned to take the MU5793 flight at 9:50 a.m. on March 31 from Kunming to Xishuangbanna. The plane never came after waiting for seven hours at the airport.

She was offered a ticket change at 4 p.m. on April 1 and received 400 yuan compensation.

CEA finally admitted on Monday that some pilots on the 21 flights deliberately turned their aircraft around while in flight.

It originally said the incidents were due to poor weather. However flights with other airlines flying the same routes landed on schedule during the same period.

The airline has suspended the pilots. Further probing is underway, said an announcement on the company's website.


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