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Chinese embassies call for reasonable response to flight delays

(People's Daily Online)    14:28, February 02, 2018

Chinese visitors abroad were recently warned by Chinese embassies to take reasonable steps to reasonable protect their rights after three scandals drew attention on social media.

Heavy snow caused flight delays worldwide, while stranded Chinese visitors, who traveled abroad before the Spring Festival holidays, ran into problems at airports in Tokyo, Tehran, and Colombo after expressing their dissatisfaction of delays and improper treatments from low-cost airlines.

On Jan. 24, a quarrel escalated into a physical confrontation between Chinese passengers and employees of a budget airline in a Tokyo airport after a 24-hour delay to Shanghai was announced. The company allegedly refused to provide a Chinese-speaking staff to aid the stranded passengers. The crowd started to sing the Chinese national anthem as police officers and passengers jostled.

Three days later, a similar incident took place again in an airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Then on Jan. 31, another Chinese passenger on a delayed flight, this time from Tehran, could not help but yell out “China” after Chinese embassy helped with arrangement.

Early in 2015 and 2016, several confrontations with police or airline staff at airports tainted the image of Chinese tourists abroad.

New low-cost airlines have become the premier choice for a majority of Chinese to tour overseas, according to the official public WeChat account of consular affairs department of the Chinese foreign ministry. However, these carriers generally reduce services to make up for the savings, for example, not providing accommodation if a flight is delayed or canceled.

Chinese tourists are being told to make full preparations before their departure and keep calm and reasonable in the face of any unforeseen events, said an employee with the ministry’s consular affairs department.

Singing the national anthem or yelling out the country’s name in such situations will only lead to misunderstandings among foreigners, said Mu Dong, chief correspondent of Xinhua News Agency in Tehran.

Nationals should be responsible when touring abroad, and avoid confusing problems as a call for patriotism, domestic media commented.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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