November 17th, 2011
05:33 AM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) – A nearly 9-hour flight delay turned into a standoff at Hong Kong airport Wednesday, with passengers refusing to leave the plane for 5-hours until the airline agreed to higher compensation.

The incident underscores just how high tensions can rise in modern air travel with passengers and airlines jockeying it out in a low-frill, high-fee world. There is no global standard for passenger compensation in the case of airline delays and wide gulf can exist between passenger expectations and airline offers.

When Hong Kong Airlines flight 752 from Singapore arrived at 530 a.m. Wednesday morning, the airline says 80 passengers refused to get off. The travelers, mainly members of package tours from mainland China, demanded the airline increase the original compensation offer of $50 per passenger.

Twenty-one of the passengers stayed on board for another five hours, requesting reimbursement for the unused hotel rooms they had paid for the night before. The airport police were called in to negotiate and the passengers finally at 10:25 a.m., after the airline agreed to pay them $150.

Hong Kong’s I-Cable News quoted one passenger who said it wasn’t the money, but the attitude of the airline that irked them.

This isn’t the first such incident in Hong Kong. The Standard newspaper reported in February that a group of Mainland tourists staged an all-night protest in the airport over flight delays.

Hong Kong Airlines spokesperson Eva Chan blamed the incident on cultural differences. “Our air staff never had any bad attitude towards the passenger,” she said. “They tried to negotiate and explain that the compensation policy of HK airlines is different from mainland Chinese airlines.”

The irate travelers would likely have been better off if they had been traveling within the European Union. The EU requires passengers be compensated between $330 and $800 if their flight is delayed by two hours or more, depending on the flight length. However, the airline can claim exclusion for “extraordinary circumstances,” including weather and security incidences.

The United States has no federal regulation on delay compensation, but it has instituted regulations that penalize airlines if passengers are stuck in a plane on the tarmac for more than three hours. The Department Transportation just fined an American Airlines’ subsidiary $900,000, in the first penalty since the regulations went into effect last year.

No traveler wants to spend 5-hours of their holiday staging an airplane sit-in. No airline wants the headache and the bad PR that results. Perhaps it is time we move towards a global, transparent standard for compensating passengers.

Airplanes don’t always take off on time, but passengers generally prefer to get off them when they land.

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Filed under: Air industryAsiaBusinessChina

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Bandynose

    Well that's new, but welcome. I've only been in the air a few times, but each experience is filled with memories of snotty staff, extreme pricing for very ordinary products, rules that exist for no other reason than to drain my pocket further. I welcome anything that encourages airlines to start thinking and acting like part of the service and hospitality industries rather than a delivery system for human cattle.
    Now why I really dislike them, I had just bought a lovely super large (seriously it came in a small bucket) triple shot latte, it smelled brilliant. I got in line to board, as I had done twice before, above mentioned snotty staff member advised me from the front of the queue (by shouting 'you in the red top') 'you can't bring that'. Now I knew I didn't have anything I shouldn't so I looked for someone else with a red shirt. I realised there wasn't one as the staffer pulled me put of line and asked if I was hard of hearing. A little conversation ensued at the end of which I and several other passengers also unaware of the policy change finished as much of our nice coffees as we could before being boarded last, out of order, and without our coffees. The most insulting part of the experience was being offered, not 5 minutes after take off, a small luke warm cup of water, a coffee bag and a small plastic tub of longlife milk for a very reasonable $5. I hate them.

    November 17, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  2. Safety Bill

    I think it's wonderful. The airlines are arrogant, and have forgotten what customer service is all about. I applaud the Hong Kong passengers fpr peacefully refusing to be ill-treated.

    November 17, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  3. Palden

    Hone Kong Airlines.???? para seven ...please correct the error. :)

    November 17, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  4. AnotherKat

    Been in nearly the same situation - stuck on the tarmac for eight hours after reaching our destination. That's four times longer than the flight to get there. No compensation whatsoever was offered. Their excuse? A storm had caused delays throughout the Eastern Seaboard. That's OK for the first half hour, but after that? It's ridiculous!

    November 17, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  5. nun-ya

    Don't y'all get your undies all bunched up reading this .. I speak the truth.
    As far as I'm concerned the entire air line industry can cease to exist! The last time I took a commercial flight (& it's been a few yrs.) in the states, I was asked to get out of the wheel chair I was using (It was provided by the air line I was flying), the "TD-A" turned it every which way they could to examiner it. "TD-A" personel had to remove my shoes for me, as I am unable to bend over to take off or put on a pr. of lace up shoes. I was humiliated b/c I was challenged, & then I had to get yet another bording pass b/c those doing the frisking, had placed mine someplace & it was not given back to me. The personel/flight attendants were rude, & snotty!
    There is one air line that works the Pacific Northwest only .. Alaska to Mexico .. I was treated like royality, drinks were free, & the air line personel were friendly & helpful. Too bad they don't have a larger route, then I would fly.
    So if I can't drive, take a train, or bus, I will not go. I refuse to be treated like a criminal & will not allow someone I've never laid eyes on to put their hands all over my body all in the name of "home-land security". B.S.! I don't mind being "wanded" or x-rayed.
    If there were going to be something of a terrorist nature, it would'a happened already. For those who are wanting to cause the U.S. problems, they have succeeded .. tieing up time, money, natural resources. It's all a ruse to take away more & more freedoms of the American population. I say, do as they do in Isreal, they don't have half the b.s. there to take a commercial flight someplace as they do in the U.S. Oh, I forgot, other societies are far more civilized/educated/inventive/creative/progressive/polite than most American people. And, as for sitting on the tarmac somewhere for hours on end .. wouldn't happen .. that's being held against one's will .. kidnapping, it's called .. no water, food, or bathrooms ... inhumane treatment .. against the law ...prisoners get better. Weather? as an excuse? Puuulll-eeeez, the airlines know what the weather is going to be along the proposed route they are flying, so there should be few, if any surprises. I've had to take a different air line going another way, transfer to yet another plane & fly back to get where my original destination was, b/c of weather .. so that one was pure b.s. so they wouldn't have to dish out money. Most air lines are operating at a deficit as it is .. loosing money big time, so they don't want to have to fork over any more money that absolutely necessary. Stock holders ya' know.

    November 17, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  6. Jeff

    "The airport police were called in to negotiate and the passengers finally at 10:25 a.m., after the airline agreed to pay them $150." Huh? Get some writers CNN.

    November 17, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  7. Hoofleau

    The airlines are bordering on holding people against their will which could almost be taken as severe civil rights violations.

    November 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  8. Jef

    Those passengers had better be glad they protested this in Communist China! If they tried this at JFK in New York, they would have been tear gassed, tasered and put in jail. God Bless Amer...... er China?

    November 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  9. Christian

    Wow! When a Chinese Communist airline provokes their Chinese Communist passengers enough that they dare stage a sit-in, you KNOW it's bad. U.S. airlines would just call in the riot cops and have everyone arrested as terrorists. So much for what used to be "...The Friendly Skies..." (and U.S. carriers don't even CARE!).

    November 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  10. delta_v we have a classic case of wanting to have your cake, and eat it to.

    We, the flying public, demand low fares, efficient, friendly and safe service, and then complain when we get none of the above.

    Folks, the MARKET determines your airline experiences, not the people or planes that make up an airline. Airlines are in business to make a profit, not merely to shlep our often fat a$$ses from point to point. In today's world, there ain't much profit to be had, and the market requires that airlines spread themselves pretty thin to assure minimum coverage, while still making some profit.

    Bring back regulation, and you won't have all of these problems.

    Conservative complainers: sorry, folks, you cannot have it both ways!

    November 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  11. boyamidumb


    Occupy, now this. We are starting to feel our own power in sending these corporate dummies a clear message – we WON'T take it anymore. Mess is us and we will react and cost you bonus money!! Target specific products. Target specific services. Don't shut the company down – we need the jobs – shut the target down and cost them money. That is the ONLY thing they care about and the only thing they hear. Money is now a form of communication between us and them. USE IT.

    Don't give them the money if you don't like what they are doing. And recruit peoples' support. If you have no support, there is your message. If you are right and can sell it using the tools we have. YOU WILL BE HEARD!

    November 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  12. Dave

    Commenters seem to be under the impression that these people were stuck on the tarmac for 9 hours, or were held in one place against their will. They weren't. Read the article again. This was a bad situation, but these guys weren't stuck on the tarmac for 9 hours. Their flight was delayed for 9 hours. They were all provided with free hotel rooms and free dinners. At the end of which they were flown to Hong Kong – provided the service they had purchased. They just got that service 9 hours late. Iit was after all of this that they refused to get off the plane unless they got all their money back.

    A 9-hour delay is bad, but ultimately the airline provided the service, and paid for hotels and food. I can't wholeheartedly support the passengers in this. I mean, planes get delayed. Sometimes by several hours. (The article conveniently never mentions the cause of the delay. What if it was weather? What if it was a problem with the plane itself? I mean, these things happen.)

    We are awfully spoiled these days. See comedian Louis CK's bit, "Everything is Amazing and Nobody's Happy," about people who complain about flight delays. "What happened then (after the delay)? Did you fly through the air incredibly like a bird?"

    November 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  13. AP Mechanic

    People have no idea how much money and work goes in to moving you through the air. Add in an unbelievable amount of laws and regulations and you are lucky you CAN still afford and ticket and that they even still offer it to you.

    Quit whining about lukewarm coffee, you are moving through the air at 500 knots in a multimillion dollar aircraft. Don't like it? Drive there, see how much time and money it takes.

    November 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  14. Dave

    Louis C.K.: Those were simpler times I think. I just feel like, we may be going back to that by the way, but ah, in a way good because when I read things like the foundations of capitalism are shattering I'm like maybe we need that. Maybe we need some time where we're walking around with a donkey with pots clanking on the sides, ya know.

    Conan O'Brien: You think that that would just bring us back to reality.

    Louis C.K.: Ya, because everything is amazing right now and nobody's happy. Like in my lifetime the changes in the world have been incredible. When I was a kid we had a rotary phone. We had a phone you had to stand next to and you had to dial it, (yes) you know. You know, you ever realize how primitive, you're making sparks in a phone and you actually would hate people with zeros in their numbers 'cause it was more (right) oh, this guy's got two zeros, screw that guy, why do I wanna, ugh... and then if, if they called and you weren't home the phone would just ring lonely by itself. And then when, if you wanted money you had to go in the bank for (yes) when it was open for like three hours. You had to stand in line, write yourself a check like an idiot, and then when you ran outta money you just go, well I can't do any more things now (yeah, right) I can't do any more things (that's it, yeah) that was it. And, and, and even if you had a credit card they, the guy'd go ugh and he'd bring out this whole shunk, shunk and he'd write and he'd have to call the president to see if you had any money.....

    Conan: It's all true kids. You had to call the president, yeah. It was rediculous. (yes) Do you feel that we now, in the 21st century, we take technology for granted.

    Louis C.K. Well, yeah, 'cause now we live in, in an amazing, amazing world and it's wasted on the, on the crappiest generation of just spoiled idiots that don't care because, this is what people are like now. They got their phone and they're like eeaagh, it won't, give it a second! Give it, it's going to space, would ya give it a second to get back from space, it's the speed of light, it's true, it's true. (yeah) I was on a, I was on an airplane and there was internet, high speed internet on the airplane (yes) that's the newest thing that I know exists. And I'm sitting on the plane and they go open up your laptop and you can go on the internet and it's fast and I'm watching YouTube clips it's amazing. I'm in an airplane and then it breaks down and they apologize the internet is not working and the guy next to me goes pua this is bull****. Like how quickly the world owes him something (yes) he knew existed only 10 seconds ago (right, right) and on planes ....
    Flying is the worst one because people come back from flights and they tell you their story and it's like a horror story. It's, they act like their flight was like a cattle car in the 40's in Germany. (yeah) That's how bad they make it sound (right). They're like it was the worst day of my life. First of all we didn't board for 20 minutes (right) and then we get on the plane and they made us sit there on the runway for 40 minutes. We had to sit there. Oh really, what happened next? Did you fly through the air incredibly like a bird? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight, you non-contributing zero? Wow, you're flying! It's amazing! Everybody on every plane should just constantly be going, oh my God, wow (yes) you're flying, you're, you're sitting in a chair in the sky (yes, yeah, yeah) but it doesn't go back a lot. And it smells really. You know, here's the thing. People like they say there's delays on flights (yeah) delays really New York to California in 5 hours. That used to take 30 years to do that and a bunch of you would die on the way there and have a baby. You'd be with a whole different group of people by the time you got there. Now you watch a movie you take a dump and you're home.

    November 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  15. Jackie is time for everyone to hold others accountable for their actions

    November 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  16. Che

    It’s about time. They've used terror, fear and unlawful arrest headed by GOP war mongers to frighten us all to cave-in like chickens to anyone who issues a challenge of cause of their deficiencies. It’s about time we stand up to them. Bravo!

    November 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  17. Brickell Princess

    What passengers need to realize is that airlines make more money transporting cargo than shoving your meat sack from point A to point B. Passengers are secondary to the cargo that is carried on the plane. Think I am wrong? Take a look at the cargo compartment on a plane. There is ample room down there. You on the other hand, have to duck to get out of your seat and squeeze through the isles. Cargo pays the bills!

    November 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  18. The Dr. is out

    I can see their point, but since they were compensated in other ways it just doesn't make much sense to waste 5 hours for an extra $100.

    Doctor visits is where we need to start boycotting, having sit-ins and demanding compensation. I've done my part to always be on time at a doctors office, even come in early to fill out all the paperwork when needed, yet I'll sit for a minimum of 30 minutes after my scheduled appt to see a doctor (and yes, I've changed doctors a couple of times to no avail). That can include waiting room and examination room wait time. 5 to 10 minutes, sure no problem, but 0.5 to 2.5 hours?

    Why compensation? If I am taking time off work and scheduling an appointment to go to the doctor, the doctor should have to reimburse me for wasting my time because they can't keep to their schedule, causing me to spend extra vacation time because of their incompetence. I'm all for "waiting in line" to get what I want/need if no appointment could be scheduled, but an appointment is an agreement, breaking the agreement should have consequences.

    The biggest kick in the pants? They have notices all over their offices that if you are late or miss an appointment, they will charge you $20 for it. I guess I need to wear a notice that for every 5 minutes past my scheduled appointment that the doctor is late, the doctors office owes me $20.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  19. Chris Waddell

    I'm from Canada, where for years we've been "punished" for flying within our own Country. I recently flew from British Columbia to New Brunswick (Atlantic Canada). This ticket for going "home" has been over a $1000.00 since the early 1990's. This isn't because of the World economic "crisis". On my flight for over $1000,00 I flew in economy, got a free glass of water and a free bag of pretzels.
    I've called for my family and friends to boycott flying, it's the ONLY way, that we might be able to make a stand against the insane prices we all have to pay to travel on "our" own planet

    November 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  20. almir

    on our recent trip to i was bored on the plane so i did some math. Our plane had 186 seats. Lets say an average $550 dollars for the seat, i know most pay more because we did too but lets say average. So for a 2 hour flight, that one plane was making $102,300 in tickets. Now each bag is 25 dollars. we had two checked bags because of the kids so 50 dollars for that. Now lets say everyone had a bag, that's $4650 for bags. So overall that's $106,950. So that was only our way there, now for the flight back with the same plane, the only difference this time was that on the way back the bags were $64 dolars instead of $50 which of course they didn't know why. So for the 4 hour use of plane, the airlines made $213,900 dollars. Please tell me it takes 213,900 dollarsto fly a plane for 4 hours and please tell me they don't make money since they don't offer anything on the plane, everything else you have to pay for which is only more profit for the airlines. GREED.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  21. Mc

    "security incidences"... while "incedences" is indeed the plural of "incedence", the appropriate word would be "incidents". I hate to be a grammar nazi, but come on, CNN is riddled with typos these days.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  22. AuntieMame

    If you push people far enough, they will react, and as we can see, that's what's starting, not just in airlines, but in a lot of areas. All it takes is one success, and the rest will eventually follow. People are getting fed up, and rightfully so. Bravo!

    November 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  23. purnellmeagrejr

    Astute readers might note that this occurred in China – a place where some might think people exhibiting such rebellious behavior would be shot! I've never been there but it seems like a mix of many different forces and factors – in some respects like the U.S.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  24. What Me Worry

    It occured in Hong Kong, China by name only.
    People are idiots – everybody wants to be a victim nowadays. Can't wait for the world to reboot in 2012 so we can get to World 2.0

    November 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  25. Tex71

    It is surprising and wonderful to see large numbers of people beginning to wake up and realize that they have the power in numbers to change the world – just by getting together and refusing to be herded like cattle.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  26. Really?

    ".... the compensation policy of HK airlines is different.. " Absolutely. That was the problem. Get it now?

    November 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  27. What Me Worry

    @almir – Greed
    Obviously you have been taught nothing and know nothing.
    How much do you suupose the Airline paid for the plane, fuel, ground crew, flight crew, maintenance, parts, labor, airport fees, and taxes ? Oh but its all about greed!

    November 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  28. Earth to Che

    Airline delays in China caused by War Mongering Republicans. An interesting concept I must say.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  29. Mr Know It All

    Since airlines have to pay a fine if they keep passengers on the plane for more than 3 hours, I think passengers should be fined if they refuse to get off for more than 3 hours.

    November 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  30. Ginger

    reply to CHE, you really need to get a life, what does this have to do with Republicans. Bet you voted for Obama
    how's that change coming along for you and your family??????

    November 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  31. Michael

    WOW! Good for them! This story made my day! I hate flying and I hate airlines!

    November 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  32. howdy

    Good for all those passengers. I can understand delays due to weather, security, or mechanical problems But 9 hours is rediculous and as far as I can tell none of those things contributed to the delay.

    November 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  33. Andres

    Good for them. They were held hostage, now they hold a multi million dollar plane hostage. More travellers ought to have the balls to do this.

    The $900,000 fine the US airlines had to pay it simply another tax, none of the effected passengers got a cent out of that fine. The fine would have much more kick if it went to the passenger directly.

    November 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  34. drny

    @nun-ya – What is the TDA? You mean the TSA?

    November 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  35. Dennis C

    Don’t want to be inconvenienced on an airplane? DONT FLY. Get in your car and drive. If you can’t stand the thought of being whisked through the air at 400 miles per hour, in the safest travel environment that exists. Grab some snacks and get there by yourself. Enjoy the gas station bathrooms.

    November 17, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  36. imme

    I used to work at the airport here and we had a flight get delayed for 5 hours cause the fuel crew broke the fuel door. they had to fly in a mechanic from a bigger city. all those passengers got was a $10 – $15 food voucher for the restraunt.. it was stupid cause the passengers were all mad about the flight being cancelled then even more mad that they only got a food voucher that barely covered a full mean with a drink. because if the delay for the flight leaving half of the passengers missed their connecting flight and they had to pay extra money to get on a different connecting flight.

    November 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  37. Matt

    security incidences? How about security incidents?

    The airport police were called in to negotiate and the passengers finally at 10:25 a.m., after the airline agreed to pay them $150.

    ...and the passengers...what?...finally at 10:25 a.m?

    This is supposed to be written a professional news writer? Seriously, CNN. Very unprofessional.

    November 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  38. Cancelled in Santiago Chile - LAN Chile Airline with NO Plan

    I arrived on an overnight flight from Mexico City yesterday to Santiago Chile, and the LAN Chile rep told me that my connection was cancelled due to volcanic ash, and that all they could do was to tell me to call the call center for rebooking. That's it. NO help at the aiport at all – just call the Call Center they said. And to boot there were no hotel rooms in Santiago – unless you want to pay $600 / night. LAN Chile didn't have a plan to cope with hundreds of clients, and because the cancellations were due to volcanic ash, they could not have cared less about the clients. The rude LAN rep I spoke with at the airport even told me they didn't have a process to help clients in this situation. UNBELIEVABLE. I will never fly LAN Chile again if I can possibly prevent it.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  39. imho1234

    I know I will get a lot of flack for this, but flying has gotten CHEAP and rivals other methods of travel (train, bus, driving when you consider intangibles). This CHEAPNESS is why flying is so awful. Flying used to be for the elite, the business travelers, a once in a lifetime experince for everyone else. I travel for work or fun 2+x monthly. And even with all the "add ons" it is still cheap.

    Planes cost 300M to buy. A part overhaul (like one of the 8 engines) costs 200K, a little "black box" is $50K and that gets checked yearly if not more often) , not to mention the COMPLETE tear downs that happen every so often. Airplane mechanics are NOT car mechanics – they bill out at $150-$200 AN HOUR. They have to be CERTIFIED on all things they touch by the MANUFACTURER. Would you really want it any other way?

    THEN you have the gate rentals at the airports (who do you think pays for that? The airlines). Then the employees, they are not cheap. Fuel is not cheap.

    Nothing about this business is cheap or profitable. I would NEVER want to get into the airline business. A highly regulated "commodity" space that no one appreciates for what it is.

    November 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  40. Voltairine

    Awesome! : ) F corporate executives in the airline industry, which is one of the WORST anti-customer anti-employee anti-people industries in history...right below the filthy, greedy, soulless, blood-sucking, murderous, health "care" insurer industry.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  41. Bob T Builder

    I don't wear pants. Things just flap in the breeze. I've only been arrested 50 times. I just bribe them with doughnuts.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  42. wynonarose

    Many years ago my daughter was a cancer kid. Her immune system was low so she was chilly all the time. She had on her jacket but was still cold, so before taking off I asked the stewardess for a blanket for her. I was told to wait until after take off. The lady sitting next to me said, "Can't you see that little girl is cold? Get her a blanket, and some snacks too!"

    Within 60 seconds we had blankets for all three of my kids and a bucket of granola bars and snack bars and peanuts and bottles of water.

    I learned later that woman was Dr. Ruth. Thank you, Dr. Ruth! And this was back when airlines were still nice most of the time.

    November 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  43. jon

    I must be very old, but I do remember when flying somewhere was fun, exciting and much, much more enjoyable. Too bad, those days are sure long gone.

    November 17, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  44. Spencer

    Yes Jon, I agree. I'm not sure how the average domestic U.S. flights have been doing but delays this long don't make sense to me. I fear that the airlines are competing with each other so much that it is causing most of this greif. I've been forced to wait for another flight because the airline "overbooked" the plane. Now how they think selling more tickets than seats on a plane is a good idea, I don't get it. I understand weather is uncontrollable but many other delays are preventable.

    November 17, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  45. Kyle H. Davis

    Typical – Chinese only have the ability to protest once they leave Chinese soil. – Waiting for the day they grow a backbone and do it at home.

    November 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  46. Jake

    To Christian, I need to point out to you that this happened in Hong Kong with a Hong Kong based airline. Hong Kong is not communist, they are a special administrative region and will have no change in their previous political or economic system until 2047.

    November 18, 2011 at 3:10 am |
  47. Keith


    November 18, 2011 at 3:45 am |
  48. Acropolis

    It would have been interesting to know why the flight was delayed. Those unfortunate tourists would have realized that planes are not buses.

    November 18, 2011 at 6:02 am |
  49. herbert goodwin

    the passengers accepted $150.00 for their trouble ? a u.s. airline was fined something like $9000.00 per passenger for an extended delay on the tarmac.who got that money ? you can bet it wasn't the victims.

    November 18, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  50. Jason

    Wait . . . they protested in China . . . and WON?!?! These people would be in Gitmo if they did that in the US on a plane!

    November 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  51. Think

    U.S carriers carry the congress in their pockets and treat the customers like dirt under the show. Try staging any protest and you will get tossed out in the same of security and the three digit number..

    November 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  52. Iconoclast

    Who proof reads this stuff? I see so many errors in this story. "There is no global standard for passenger compensation in the case of airline delays and wide gulf can exist between passenger expectations and airline offers."
    "And wide gulfs"? "And a wide gulf" maybe? How about this one: "The airport police were called in to negotiate and the passengers finally at 10:25 a.m., after the airline agreed to pay them $150." The passengers finally did what? Fnally got to go to the bathroom? Finally had breakfast? Finally figured out that sudoku puzzle they were working on? I expect this from some of the uneducated posters making comments, but from the CNN journalists? Shame!

    November 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  53. shelbydawkins

    I'd rather stay at home with a bad case of diarhhea than have a great trouble free flight to Tahiti.

    November 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  54. Wayne

    Did any of the passengers get some of the $900,000 the American Airlines subsidiary was fined? The article fails to mention where the money went, other than the DOT anyway.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  55. Mr.Butters

    Good on them. My flight was delayed for three and a half hours. All I got was a sorry and a $10 food voucher. It's bad enough we have to pay for even the most basic things on airlines now. I'd like to at least see a discount on my next flight. And no, there wasn't any apparent reason for the flight being so late, such as weather. They just said it had been running late all day.

    November 19, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  56. Pete

    I dont know, last time my wife and I flew from Denver to Cleveland, we were asked if we would liked to be bumped (I said yes) we got 2 free round trip tickets to anywhere in the lower 48 good for a year w/ no restrictions, moved up to first class on different flight into Indianapolis that left about 20 minutes later, 15 minute wait in Indianopolis then first class to Cleveland ariving 10 later than our oversold and crouded orginal flight. I would do it again and again for all of the freebies we got.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:55 am |
  57. Libby

    Brilliant... Let's bring the Occupy concept to the Airlines!!

    November 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  58. john smith


    you're angrly about being delayed, so you increase that delay by another five hours? obviously none of you had any pressing matters to attend to and do not deserve any refund.

    November 21, 2011 at 6:12 am |
  59. rob

    The airline industry is lawless. They can do whatever they wish and no one is willing to intervene. When private customers must take matters in their own hands, it's a wake up call. Yet another one that will be ignored.

    November 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  60. ANGEL

    LOL @ "the Dr is out"//// I agree 100%, lets boycott Doctors offices and let me add Black owned Hair Salons!!!

    November 22, 2011 at 3:18 am |
  61. WaltDisney

    When you think about it, most industries in the USA are like that now. Before you pay they are all sweet and wonderful. Once they have your money they proceed to treat you like the proverbial "Red-Headed Stepchild". Then afterward, they spend all of their profits trying to get you to give them more money. The biggest excuse used by industries is " That's our policy". All that means is that that is how they decided to do things. "Policy" is not some kind of Holy commandment from God or something! MY policy is that if your company treats me wrong, you will never see me again (no matter how many surveys and incentives you bombard me with!)

    November 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  62. WaltDisney

    And by theway, STOP printing those little survey invitations on our reciepts! I know good and well that I am NOT going to win $1000. for completing your stupid survey! It will just be a wasted 15 or 20 minutes out of my already limited free time. And the restaurants/fast food places that want me to fill out a survey online to get a coupon code for a free soft drink or $1.00 off of my meal... Give me a break! I would be happier if you would stop wasting the paper and ink!

    November 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  63. JohnnyDH

    You guys all complain but the reason the airlines are like this is because you are all cheap. Would you pay $100 more for your flight if you knew you would be treated 10x better on the more expensive airline? I'd bet at least 90% of you answer no to that question. So there you have value price above all are going to get what you pay for.

    November 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  64. johnb

    "Security incidences" ?
    It's INCIDENTS. "Incidence" doesn't even have a plural. Means roughly "frequency."

    The death of literacy.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  65. TAK

    Good for the passengers. Of course in the United Police States of America, the TSA and Homeland Security would have treated them as terrorists and stormed the plane with a SWAT team.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  66. Daniel

    This is a poorly written article! "And the passengers finally at 10:25 a.m." is missing a word. Additionally, the last two sentences sound out of place. I expect better than this from CNN.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:29 am |
  67. Bob

    @ Alimir you are right about the money they make but it does not all go to the airliner's boss. It goes to the stock payers for their dividends. As well as you have the pilots who need the money to keep their family's going (pilots make about 60,000-100,000) depending on their seniority to the airlines. Plus there are the fuel costs, manufacturing newer airplanes, to keep up with the FAA standards, and the mechanical repair costs. Thus not all of the money goes into the boss' wallet but is spread throughout a series of actions needed to keep airlines going.

    November 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  68. Bob

    oops families

    November 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  69. Adrienne

    To the person caluclating the profit margin of the airlines....cost of ticket x number of seats x baggage costs...fuel costs alone eat the profits, not to mention the salaries of the staff. By your caluclations, I estimate the airline lost on that flight. A fully loaded flight attendant salary and by fully loaded I am including salary, vacation time, benefits and retirement is probably well over 100k.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  70. Robertjones

    about time people began to treat corporations the same way they have treated us for years.

    December 3, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  71. dj

    Based on the reaction to the Occupy movements, a stunt like this in the US might get you pepper-sprayed.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  72. Ian

    Operating a plane the size of a Boeing 737 is about 10k per hour considering this table is from 2000 and hasn't been updated since.

    Add salaries etc... and you will come up with 25-50k per hour. Most short term flights subsidize long range transcontinental routes too... as you can get cheaply for like $400 to London from NYC.

    December 6, 2011 at 2:10 am |
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