Hong Kong flier in YouTube temper tantrum gets apology, upgrade

March 5th, 2009 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, March 5 (DPA) A Chinese woman passenger whose temper tantrum when she missed a flight from Hong Kong was watched by five million YouTube viewers has been given an apology and a free upgrade, the airline said Thursday.
An airline employee who filmed the middle-aged woman throwing herself on the floor in a three-minute screaming fit when she arrived at the boarding gate too late to board a flight to San Francisco has also been disciplined, Cathay Pacific said.

More than five million people have watched the video of the unidentified woman’s tantrum at Chek Lap Kok Feb 4, filmed with a mobile phone camera, since it was posted on the video-sharing website.

The woman, who was travelling with her husband and a friend, arrived at the boarding gate at the exact time of flight’s scheduled departure and flew into a rage when told her luggage had been off-loaded. She was eventually put on a later flight.

Within days, a video showing her trying to force her way to the air bridge and then throwing herself on the floor in front of the departure gate had become an internet sensation.

The woman, who travels regularly between Hong Kong and San Francisco, returned to Hong Kong with her husband recently and met Cathay Pacific customer relations executives to discuss the YouTube broadcast.

A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said the woman and her husband had not sought compensation but said they had been given upgrades to business class on their next flight to San Francisco as a “gesture of goodwill”.

Cathay had established through an internal inquiry that a member of its ground staff shot the video, the spokeswoman said. However, the video was not posted on YouTube by that employee, she added.

“We have conveyed the findings of our inquiry to the passenger concerned, and her family, and have issued an apology for the inconvenience and embarrassment she may have suffered as a result,” the spokeswoman said.

“The staff member who took the video has been disciplined and cautioned against repeating such behaviour.”

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