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Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific has been accused of discriminating against mainland Chinese passengers

Posted by on 2023/05/25. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

According to Hong Kong media, a netizen recently posted on Xiaohongshu under the title “Report Cathay Pacific’s Discrimination against Non-English-Speaking Passengers”.

The post accused Cathay Pacific flight attendants of discriminating against passengers who speak Mandarin and uploaded related audio recordings.

The netizen claimed that on May 21st, when they were on flight CX987 from Chengdu to Hong Kong, they sat near the cabin crew operating area and overheard multiple female flight attendants mocking passengers in English and Cantonese. They allegedly said, “If you can’t say ‘blanket’ in English, you can’t have one” and “The carpet is on the ground. You can lay there if you want it.” The netizen claimed that a passenger may have mistakenly used the word “carpet” instead of “blanket” when requesting one in English.

The netizen also stated that a passenger tried to ask how to fill out the immigration card in English, but the flight attendant was impatient with them. When an elderly person took their child to the restroom while the safety signal was still on, a flight attendant broadcasted in Cantonese, “The safety signal is still on. Please return to your seat,” and complained to colleagues in Cantonese afterward, saying, “They don’t understand human language!”

A person claiming to be a flight attendant involved in the incident posted on social media in mainland China on May 23, accusing the person who reported them of secretly recording and making a shameful complaint. They also claimed that the flight attendant recorded by netizens was not from Hong Kong.

After investigation and public opinion fermentation, Cathay Pacific suspended or fired three flight attendants who were reported. CEO Tang Kin Fung apologized for the fourth time in Mandarin after attending an event in Guangzhou on May 24.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who attended the same event, said the incident has hurt the feelings between Hong Kong and mainland compatriots, damaged Hong Kong’s culture and values of respect, courtesy, and inclusiveness. She expressed disappointment and sadness that such bad behavior occurred on a flight in Hong Kong and told Tang that similar incidents cannot happen again.

The incident has received significant attention in mainland China. State media expressed shock at the incident and emphasized that Hong Kong’s development depends on the support of the country and mainland visitors are one of the pillars of Hong Kong’s service industry. They believe Cathay Pacific should take strict measures to put an end to this kind of misconduct from its root.

Former member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Liu Mengxiong believes that Hong Kong people do have complex emotions towards mainlanders, and the Cathay Pacific incident is just the tip of the iceberg. Hong Kong people grew up in an environment with a mix of Chinese and Western cultures and under the rule of law, while mainlanders have different cultures, lifestyles, and values. It is undeniable that some Hong Kong people subconsciously feel superior to mainlanders, exacerbated by some uncivilized behavior by individual mainlanders overseas, which makes some Hong Kong people resentful.

Liu Mengxiong said unless the Hong Kong government faces the deep-seated contradictions in society, similar incidents like discrimination against mainlanders by Cathay Pacific will continue to occur.

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