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Passengers Arrested After Upgrading Themselves From Economy to Business

Flyers angry over a three-hour weather delay decided to move themselves to business-class seats. When they refused to return to the economy cabin, chaos ensued.

There are many different techniques for earning an upgrade to a premium seat. Deciding you deserve an upgrade and simply claiming squatters’ rights to a seat in business class, however, is not a feasible technique, and yet that’s just what a group of passengers recently attempted on a China Southern Airlines flight from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (SZX) to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA).

The cabin-hoppers’ experiment was largely unsuccessful. Although the economy flyers who stubbornly refused to vacate their purloined business-class seats were allowed to enjoy their extra legroom for the duration of the flight, police were waiting to arrest them when they landed at SHA.

According to the Want China Times, the trouble started when a large group of passengers decided that seats in the business cabin would be just compensation after their flight was delayed three hours because of weather. The group reportedly occupied the business-class seats and claimed it was their right to do so due to the inconvenience suffered by the delay.

Flight attendants managed to convince all but three members of the occupying mob to return to their assigned seats. The three unidentified passengers were arrested as soon as the flight landed.

An airline representative issued a statement following the incident, insisting every passenger needs to sit in their preassigned seat to maintain even weight distribution and that, if passengers switch seats, it makes the plane more likely to crash.

[Photo: China Southern Airlines]

Comments are Closed.
drvannostren July 10, 2015

Yea the excuse is dumb, but still, quite happy to hear they were arrested, and hopefully banned from flying on that airline again.

gageh1 July 10, 2015

Upon seeing the headline, said this had to be China. Being a Gate Attendant or Stewardess on Chinese airline could be the worst job in the world.

hsumh316 July 9, 2015

All passengers, carry-ons, and checked luggage are all weighed before getting on the plane and then careful calculations are made to balance out the plane. 'Safety'

kirkwoodj July 9, 2015

simple theft, and don't forget that China is now cracking down on their horrible travel behaviours. Glad to hear it, honestly.

weero July 9, 2015

"..if passengers switch seats, it makes the plane more likely to crash" Oh they got arrested because they violated a safety issue! I hope they also arrested the pilots who chose to fly nonetheless and the tower crew who cleared the plane for take off ... But I guess any dumb excuse is good enough when it orbits around 'safety'.