Wednesday 10 July 2024

HK Express forces visually impaired passengers off the plane


HK Express has issued an apology and offered compensation to two visually impaired passengers who claimed they were compelled to disembark from a plane in May. The Hong Kong Blind Union released a statement on Monday (8th July) stating that the individuals were "forced" off a Tokyo-bound flight on the 22nd of May due to not meeting the airline's safety requirements.

The passengers sought assistance from the Hong Kong Blind Union, which, in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Department, secured them another flight on the same day. The pair reported that the crew did not clarify the safety standards and that subsequent attempts to obtain an explanation from the company were unsatisfactory, citing inconsistent reasons including "overbooking" and the crew's inability to arrange alternatives for them.

The incident has garnered significant attention, with media intelligence firm CARMA noting over 1,500 mentions in the past 24 hours, 38.2% of which were negative and only 4% positive. The majority of online comments reflected outrage at the airline's handling of the situation, especially the inconsistent customer service responses, according to Charles Cheung, CARMA's Hong Kong general manager.

HK Express stated that its ground staff and aircrew adhered to standard safety protocols when evaluating the passengers' circumstances.

"Due to the extra time needed, the passengers could not board the original flight. A subsequent review confirmed they could travel safely unaccompanied. They were offered seats on a later flight of their choosing to their destination on the same day," the airline explained.

The company extended a sincere apology for the inconvenience and delay experienced by the passengers.

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