Here's the original from the official Chinese propaganda
machine, a.k.a. People's Daily....
*** After a quick search through PD's archives, something interesting
came up... this is the SAME reporter who wrote a very
critical article against the US gov't, referring to the "pirate"
US spy plane that killed a "patriotic comrade" Chinese
fighter pilot and subsequently landed on Hainan Island...
Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, August 23, 2002
BA Sold Extra Tickets Stranding Chinese Passengers
In the morning, August 22, Beijing Capital Airport, British Airways(BA)' BA038 flight which flies from Beijing to London sold extra 68 tickets, stranded dozens of Chinese passengers. Though these Chinese passengers had all their OK tickets from British Airways they could not board on Airways plane, a thing unheard-of the reporter personally witnessed at the airport.
In the morning, August 22, Beijing Capital Airport, British Airways' BA038 flight which flies from Beijing to London sold extra 68 tickets, stranded dozens of Chinese passengers. Though these Chinese passengers had all their OK tickets from British Airways they could not board on Airways plane, a thing unheard-of the reporter personally witnessed at the airport.
People began to queue up for getting boarding cards for BA038 flight in the early morning. But what is unexpected, counter serviceman said that the seats had already been occupied though some passengers had taken a long queue for more than an hour.
What is even more bewildered was that why there were no seats for those Chinese passengers who have got their Airways tickets confirmed and the shocking thing the serviceman said that the British Airways had sold 68 more tickets out to a profiteering purpose.
The plane should have taken off at 11:25 on the day Beijing time, but people with tickets on hand had to wait on the airport and heard not a word of explanation from the whole of British Airways staff at the airport. Passengers had to shuttle from those counters, hoping to get seats.
Eleven senior school students as passengers from Harbin had planned to go to London by a group, but they have to make a change of their plan to take to three different flights, some will fly via Helsinki, some via Switzerland.
Originally, they should arrive in London at 3:30 pm on August 22 local time, but now they are not sure when and how they will get to and meet in London.
Majority of these student passengers may arrive in London at midnight local time. Things seem all in a maze to them and many will fly for Britain on a study program. Moreover, this is their very first time to go abroad.
A mother of one of the students said, "I'm worrying what will happen because my son's ticket has been changed. This is his first time to go abroad and the plane may arrive at midnight, what's more, it will take one to two hours from London airport to the Cambridge University and his school is very far from the university."
When reporter left the airport at noon, some 20 passengers are still waiting there, they could not get the day's flight and have to try another day.
Under ordinary situation, OK tickets have been confirmed, but how come the British Airways sold 68 more tickets only for the company's gain?
The thing is all too clear that some passengers could not board on plane. While servicemen in the airport explained that except Air China, most of airlines ever sold extra tickets.
They thought that passengers may change idea, but this wrongdoing is totally irresponsible for passengers.
I have been on many air companies' flights abroad, but this is the first time I met such a detrimental situation at the expense of passengers. Since the American 9.11 incident, international aviation market has slackened, there are not many airlines like British Airways selling extra tickets at the school entry peak time.
More and more Chinese students would love to study in Britain, this will bring a great benefit to British Airways, but their irresponsible behavior makes it lose reputation for they just have their eyes on immediate interests at the expense of the customers.
Suppose this was in the US or European countries, instead of being in a developing country like China, what things would be like? I think, at least, British Airways have to think about complaints first, being otherwise castigated by media, or they would not dare sell extra tickets so wantonly and brazenly to harm their customers.
By PD Online Staff Li Yan