Rude of Cathay to snigger at Chinese speaker
China Daily

A cargo aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific Airways approaches Hong Kong International Airport in August. (Photo: Agencies)

An audio clip made by a passenger on a flight from Chengdu to Hong Kong has exposed how stewards of Cathay Pacific, a Chinese airline company based in Hong Kong, behave with passengers from the Chinese mainland who cannot speak English.

"If you cannot say blanket, you cannot have it," a steward is heard saying in the clip, purportedly made on Monday, after which one can hear her and, apparently, her colleagues laughing derisively.

The passenger who posted the clip on a social networking site said her co-passenger was sneered at because he could not speak good English and also other passengers who were asking questions in Chinese were treated badly.

Discriminating against anybody because of the language or dialect they speak is shameful. It is worse if those guilty of doing so work in the service sector.

What happened here is that a steward of an airline headquartered in China flying in Chinese airspace discriminated against a passenger for speaking Chinese.

On social networking sites, there was expected outrage against Cathay Pacific. Some complained that the airline company's stewards were extremely good to passengers from other countries, especially those who were fair-skinned.

On Monday night, Cathay Pacific issued an apology through its official micro blog account, while also promising to probe and "seriously deal with" the issue.

As such, it would be good if the airline contacts all those who have ever complained about such behaviors, and addresses the issue, so as to find whether it is an individual that needs more training or a frequent occurrence that calls for improving the company culture.

Such discrimination cannot be tolerated.