Juneyao suspends gate agent over boarding controversy

Yang Meiping Liu Chwan-shin
Juneyao Airlines has suspended a staff member over a recent boarding controversy that left a passenger stranded at Shanghai airport.
Yang Meiping Liu Chwan-shin
Juneyao suspends gate agent over boarding controversy

A video screenshot of a Chinese passenger claimed that a foreigner was permitted to board a flight while she was refused, even though both were late at the gate.

Juneyao Airlines has suspended a staffer over a recent boarding controversy that stranded a passenger at a Shanghai airport, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

The stranded traveler posted a video online, claiming that the airline staff member prioritized expats over Chinese by letting a Japanese passenger board a December 7 trip to Osaka but rejecting her, even though both were late.

When the woman got to the boarding gate, she said, the staffer called a seat number that belonged to her, but she let the Japanese passenger board instead. She claimed she was stuck at Pudong International Airport while her luggage was flown to Japan.

The airlines said it was a genuine mistake, and they don't follow a policy of favoring foreign passengers. It said it offered the Chinese traveler free rescheduling, overnight lodging, and financial compensation.

The traveler flew to Japan the next day, it claimed.

The newspaper report said a Juneyao representative provided more facts about the incident.

According to regulations, both passengers arrived late and should not have been permitted to board. A data entry error incorrectly listed the Chinese passenger's boarding status as "onboard," requiring them to be allowed to board the plane.

However, the airline staffer issued the wrong boarding passes to the passengers and forgot to double-check their IDs before boarding due to time constraints, resulting in the mistake.

The spokesman said Juneyao Airlines took the issue seriously, suspended the employee, and would hold the flight management team accountable.

The organization will improve personnel training and management to avoid similar incidents in the future.

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