Cathay Pacific crew members suspended following alleged discrimination
Cathay Pacific Airways on Tuesday suspended the cabin crew members after a Chinese netizen reported alleged discrimination against non-English-speaking passengers on flight CX987.
The alleged incident occurred on flight CX987 from Chengdu in Sichuan Province to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on May 21, according to posts written by the netizen on China's lifestyle social media platform Xiaohongshu (Red).
Cathay Pacific said it has started an immediate internal investigation and the findings will be disclosed within three days.
According to the post, the writer was seated in the back row near where flight attendants prepared meals and took breaks. Throughout the flight, some flight attendants reportedly kept complaining about passengers in English and Cantonese.
The netizen shared a recording, in which the flight attendants said in English, "If you cannot speak blanket, you cannot have it," and "carpet is on the floor."
The netizen speculated that the flight attendants were mocking passengers who attempted to communicate in English to request a blanket.
Another passenger seated in front of the netizen also received impatient responses when asking the flight attendants how to fill out an arrival card in English.
The writer, a native Mandarin speaker fluent in English and Cantonese, said he or she had been in Hong Kong for 11 years. The writer thought it wrong for flight attendants to discriminate against non-English-speaking passengers, and therefore posted the incident online and made an official complaint.
Cathay Pacific Airways on May 22 responded to the allegations by issuing a statement via their official Weibo account. They said they were aware of the incident and extended apologies to the affected passengers. The airline promised to have a thorough investigation.
Cathay Pacific Airways, established in 1946 and headquartered in Hong Kong, is one of Asia's leading airlines.