Passengers and crew on the Beijing-bound plane were preparing for take-off, but one of their number was occupied cleaning her child over a sink in the bathroom, leaving the door open. Her actions prompted complaints from other passengers due to the smell. Cabin crew approached the couple, who then refused to finish cleaning their son or return to their seats, writes Danny Mok for the South China Morning Post.
Questionable Dragonair flight etiquette
The situation escalated when the captain requested that the family leave the plane, which they refused to do, forcing staff to call for police assistance. The family left the plane when police officers arrived, and no one was arrested or charged.
If the whole episode wasn’t already strange enough, the Ebola virus somehow stuck its ugly head into the conversation after both the mother and other passengers claimed that flight attendants had speculated as to whether the baby was suffering with the deadly virus.
Despite newspaper reports, a Dragonair spokeswoman told the press that far from being the reason for the removal of the passengers, Ebola was mentioned in a general health announcement alongside bird flu and influenza.
No serious consequences
The woman appeared to be confused as to why she had been removed from the plane. “My son is 18 months old – relieving himself is unavoidable … The flight attendants asked me why I didn’t close the door – I just didn’t have time,” she said. The reasons for her later refusal to close the door or finish cleaning her child remain a mystery.
The debacle caused the flight to be delayed for over 2.5 hours, but despite their behavior the family were put on another Dragonair flight later that day. Upon leaving the plane the woman was said to be tearful as she apologized to the other passengers.
Dragonair also later apologized to affected travelers. Perhaps the situation arose because of the stress of thinking that her child had Ebola, or maybe it was simply a moment of madness.