Just days after a Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Airways flight attendant was criticized for making fun of a mainland Chinese passenger’s English language skills, a Chinese passenger was compared to a “dog” at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
A video circulated on Monday showing a male ground staff member at Singapore’s Changi Airport, who works for China Southern Airlines, verbally abusing스포츠토토 a Chinese passenger during an altercation over language, according to Penghai and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP).
The passenger, surnamed Yuan, was purchasing a ticket for a flight to Chongqing at the airport on March 23 when he was informed that there would be an additional charge for an emergency exit seat on the plane. When Yuan complained about the charge in Chinese, the employee in question said he “didn’t understand,” as if he didn’t speak Chinese. Yuan asked for the employee’s phone number to file a complaint with the airline. The employee then stood up and said in Chinese, “If you want to be a dog, the sleeping person can treat you like a dog. I explained and you agreed,” he yelled in Chinese.
Angered by this statement, some of the other ticket buyers can be heard in the video protesting, “Who did you call a dog? Say it again.” Yuan accused the agent of “ruining Singapore’s image.”
Southern Airlines’ Singapore office issued an official apology. “In the course of providing service, an employee became involved in an altercation with a passenger and used inappropriate language. We have requested our service partner to suspend (the offending employee) from working at our Singapore branch.”
The airline had posted a notice on its website stating that extra charges apply for seats near emergency exits because they offer a relatively larger space than regular seats. Unaware of this, the Chinese passenger and the teller argued over the fare, with the teller discriminating against the Chinese based on language.
“This is how Singaporeans behave,” said one Weibo user, recounting his experience at a Singapore hotel. The hotel staff claimed they didn’t understand Chinese, but after a while, they heard him talking to his coworkers in Chinese. Some users wrote that the passenger, named Yuan, seemed to be intentionally provoking the teller.
Racist behavior against Chinese or Chinese-origin travelers is a recurring theme.
Earlier this month, a flight attendant on a Cathay Pacific Airways flight from Chengdu, Sichuan province, to Hong Kong told a Chinese passenger, “If you can’t say ‘blanket’ in English, you shouldn’t take a blanket,” prompting other flight attendants to laugh. The incident escalated after a recording by a passenger on the same flight was released, and the airline fired three crew members and apologized in a statement to the affected passenger.
Last month, a video surfaced of a multicultural family, including Chinese, traveling to Italy and being racially harassed by local women. In the video, three Italian women repeatedly said “ni hao” (Chinese for “hello”) and giggled among themselves in Italian. After the video went viral on social media, the women’s university issued a statement saying it would investigate the incident and take action against the students.