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More than 70 Passengers Refuse to Leave Hong Kong Airlines Flight After It's Cancelled

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jun 24, 2014 10:13 AM EDT

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Roughly 70 angry passengers staged an 18-hour sit in on a Hong Kong Airlines plane on Friday after their flight to Shanghai was cancelled.

There were about 200 passengers on Flight 235 that was set to take off for Shanghai at 9 p.m. on Friday. When the passengers were told the trip was cancelled, the majority took up an offer to get on a later flight, but others weren't satisfied, the South China Morning Post reports.

Some refused the offer of flying on the later flight and complained about the arrangements. Many said that they were only offered HK$200, of $25 in compensation and they were not offered accomodations. The passengers only decided to get off the plane at around 3 p.m., after the airline offered greater compensation.

Some posted video of the passengers on the plane and they could be heard complaining that they airline refused to offer them food or water when they refused to stay on the plane. Some also said that the air conditioning on the plane had been turned off while they protested.

According to a passenger who spoke to People's Daily, the protest was "not about the money," but the way the airline handled the situation and that the airline should offer them "a reasonable amount of financial compensation." Eventually the passengers were offered HK$800, or $103 each in compensation and they were given an apology. Police were called to the plane at about 4 a.m.

According to The Standard, the original flight was cancelled due to weather. "As there was no scheduled time for taking off, the company asked passengers to leave the plane and to wait, and distributed breakfast and lunch tickets to those leaving," Hong Kong Airlines says in a statement to the Standard. The airline said there were issues with mainland traffic control.

This wasn't the only incident in which passengers staged a sit in on a Hong Kong Airlines flight. About two months ago, 31 passengers refused to leave a flight from Bali after being delayed for eight hours. In November 2011, 21 passengers refused to leave another Hong Kong Airlines flight after a nine-hour delay from Singapore. 

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