The 106 Chinese passengers of this year's controversial Japan Airlines flight have charged the airline with "glossing over its mistakes and shirking responsibilities" in a written statement.
The passengers were responding to the final sections of a report by Japan Airlines in which the company argued it had not discriminated against its Chinese passengers. The first section of its report was announced early February and the second part, last Friday.
"We have lost confidence in Japan Airlines. Its unilateral report evades the issues of our concern," Li Hao, spokesman for the Chinese passengers, and Zhang Jiachun, Li's lawyer, said in an interview with Tianjin Daily.
"If our demand for appropriate compensation is not satisfied, we will take them to court," they stressed.
The Chinese Consumers' Association has urged Japanese Airlines to reach a conclusion with the passengers as soon as possible.
Li and the other Chinese passengers took the Beijing-Tokyo flight on January 27.
The plane was diverted to Osaka due to snowfalls in Tokyo. The Chinese mainland passengers claimed they were treated differently from other passengers after the plane landed at Osaka Airport.
According to Li, the Chinese, including the elderly and young, were forced to stay in the waiting hall overnight while other passengers were given hotels or transferred to Tokyo by train. Apart from a sandwich, they received no water or food the entire night.
In its investigation report, Japan Airlines implied it lacked experiences in handling such a matter, but said it did nothing wrong.
"When the plane left Beijing Airport, the Chinese passengers were still in a happy mood after the Spring Festival. The fact that they had to stay overnight in Osaka made them feel worried, disappointed, unsatisfied and indignant,'' says the report.
The report attempted to explain why Chinese passengers were left on the plane for nearly three hours before being let off, and why no Chinese passengers received blankets that were distributed to other passengers.
These explanations fall far short of expectations by the Chinese passengers, Li said.
Wei Zizhong, one of the passengers, said: "It (the report) hurts us more. The airline's services have room for improvement."
(China Daily 03/15/2001)