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Increased fines proposed for poorly-behaved Chinese air passengers

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Chinese air passengers who behave in an unsociable manner could face fines of up to 50,000 yuan (HK$58,200) in future, if proposed plans go ahead.

According to a draft amendment to the Civil Aviation Law, issued this week by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), passengers who cause disturbances will be heavily penalised, in an attempt to cut down on anti-social behaviour.

The changes come at a time of growing concerns about the unacceptable attitude of some passengers. Reported incidents include rude behaviour towards flight attendants and other passengers, refusal to turn off electronic devices and even physical fights.

In December 2015, a 12-year-old girl and her family were refused boarding after the young girl insulted airline staff, causing the flight to be delayed. Several similar incidents were noted in the same year. More recently, in July 2016, a Chinese woman was arrested after allegedly having thrown orange juice at a flight attendant on a Cathay Pacific flight.

The proposed changes are in addition to a blacklist system that was set up by the CAAC in 2014. The list contains details of passengers who indulge in antisocial behaviour on public transport including damaging private or public property, disrespecting local customs and engaging in gambling or pornographic activities. Records are kept for two years.

Whether the series of incidents stems from cultural adaptability issues or individual characteristics is up for debate. It is certain, however, that the image of Chinese travellers has suffered from these events.

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