China Southern Airlines Staff Member Suspended After Insulting Passenger
An incident at Changi Airport led a China Southern Airlines passenger to make a complaint.
He had allegedly been called a dog in three different languages by a staff member from China Southern Airlines.
A video clip provided to Chinese media did not show the purported incident. However, it did show the passenger in a war of words with the staff member.
The airline later released a statement apologising and said it had directed the external agency that hired the staff member to rescind his employment with China Southern Airlines.
Passenger gets into altercation with China Southern Airlines staff member at Changi Airport
The man, surnamed Yuan, was about to board China Southern Airlines flight CZ546 to Chongqing from Changi Airport on Tuesday (23 May).
He was checking in when he was apparently told that there would be an additional charge for changing seats. However, there was no information given about how much the fees were.
So, he went to the counter to seek clarification.
He heard every staff member at the counter speaking Chinese, but when he asked if anyone could speak Chinese, they allegedly said they didn’t understand and didn’t answer his question.
In blunt Chinese, a female staff member allegedly told him, “Can’t you see we’re busy?” But he pointed out that he was the only person at the counter.
Then, a male staff member said, “I just don’t want to answer you.”
Mr Yuan then took videos of the conversation and said that the staff called him a dog in English, Chinese, and Cantonese. There is no video proof of this, however.
Video taken shows war of words
The male staff member said in the video, “If you want to be a dog, I can treat you like one.”
However, a man behind the camera can be heard calling a male staff member a dog.
After that, the male staff member said, “People are trying to explain something, and you cut in.”
Meanwhile, the man behind the camera repeatedly asks, “Who’s a dog? Please repeat what you said just now.”
He then repeats his question, this time in English.
The male staff member then mutters, “Can’t even behave like a human being,” and ignores the man behind the camera.
Airline apologises & suspends staff member
On 27 May, China Southern Airlines Singapore released a statement via its official WeChat channel.
Translated, it reads:
On 23 May, after we received a complaint from a passenger who was verbally abused by counter staff while boarding a flight in Singapore, we launched an investigation, reached out to the passenger, and expressed our apologies.
The counter staff is an employee of a local ground agency service provider. While serving the passenger, the staff had a dispute, and the language used was inappropriate.
At present, we have requested the agency to withhold the person from representing China Southern Airlines Singapore.
Once again, we apologise to affected passengers, and thank passengers, the media, and the public for their attention and supervision.
In future, we will summarise the lessons learned, strengthen our service management, improve work processes, and improve service guarantees of external agencies.
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Featured image adapted from The Paper.
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