Chinese tourists named and shamed

Chinese tourists named and shamed

BEIJING — Chinese authorities have named and shamed four travellers over an incident at Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok in which they vented their frustration by belting out the Chinese national anthem.

The four were part of a group from Chongqing whose flight home had been delayed by eight hours. The flight was scheduled to take off at 5.40pm on Sept 4, but Orient Thai Airlines delayed it until 3am the next day due to heavy rain and plane maintenance work.

When the plane arrived, they refused to board until their compensation demands were met, then broke into the national anthem amid hooting, shouts and general chaos in the departure lounge.

The Chongqing tourism bureau subsequently blacklisted 33 people from the group, requesting all travel agencies not to accept them as members of tour groups, according to a report in the Western China City Daily, a newspaper in Chengdu in Sichuan province.

A 57-second clip of the incident recorded on a mobile phone was circulated widely on the internet, prompting an investigation by the China National Tourism Administration.

The agency said on Saturday that it had added the travellers' names to its list of those accused of "uncivilised behaviour".

The four "incited other travelers to disrespect public order in the airport, spoke and acted hysterically, seriously harmed the image of Chinese travellers abroad", the administration said in a statement. Their names will remain on the list for between two and three years.

While inclusion doesn't ban them from flying, the list can be checked by airlines and travel agencies, who then have the option of refusing them service. The list is public and can also be viewed by police, customs and border security agents, banks and others issuing credit.

Numerous incidents of bad behaviour by Chinese tourists abroad, from fighting with air crews to defacing cultural artefacts, have drawn widespread derision in China. That prompted the administration last year to create the list, which now contains 11 names.

Others named and shamed have included a couple who poured instant noodles soaked in hot water onto an AirAsia flight attendant and made insults and threats in a dispute over seating.

Another opened the emergency doors on a domestic flight during a delay and still another had climbed onto statues of revolutionary heroes to have his photo taken.

Rising incomes and cheap flights have resulted in record numbers of Chinese travelling domestically and abroad. Among other complaints are line-cutting, smoking in public, littering and fouling public toilets.

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