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The New Paper
May 29, 2023
China Southern Airlines has suspended one of its employees after he was filmed calling a passenger “a dog” at a Changi Airport check-in counter.
According to Chinese media reports, the passenger, identified by his surname Yuan, was checking in for his flight CZ546 from Singapore to Chongqing on Tuesday (May 23).
Yuan had wanted to confirm if there was an extra charge for seats near the emergency exit. He then asked the counter staff if there was anyone there who could speak Mandarin.
Despite overhearing staff members talking among themselves in Mandarin, Yuan claimed that the male staff who attended to him pretended not to understand what he was saying and ignored his query.
Yuan said the employee began insulting him when he used his mobile phone to take down the latter's particulars. He alleged that the staff member "used three languages (to scold me), 'you are a dog, you don't understand human language'."
In a clip uploaded to social media, however, the alleged remarks were not recorded.
The employee was, however, captured on camera saying: "If you want to be a dog, I can treat you like a dog... That's easy."
Yuan then retorted off-camera: "You are the dog. Who's a dog? Say it again clearly."
The argument continued, and the visibly annoyed counter staff appeared to mutter under his breath: "Don't even know how to be a human."
China Southern Airlines has since issued an apology to the passenger over the incident, and said it has suspended the services of the employee in the video.
In a statement issued via its Wechat account on Saturday, the airline said the staff in question was employed by a local agency entrusted by the airline. It added that the employee's language was "grossly inappropriate".
The clip has also sparked a heated discussion online, with some suggesting that the passenger might not be faultless.
Several remarked that it was hard to pass judgement as what had transpired before the clip was not clear.
However, others argued that the employee should have known better, as he was working in the service industry.
"If he can't control his temper he shouldn't take up a front line job," noted one comment.