Spurred on by its member airlines, and announced at the beginning of the month, just before this week’s Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays, the China Air Transport Association (CATA) has promulgated new regulations on passenger misconduct which stipulate that that passengers who threaten or assault airport staff and cabin crew will be blacklisted.
Just so there is no misunderstanding as to what comprises behavior that makes an air traveler eligible for the Blacklist, CATA listed 10 specific forms of misconduct that qualify one for the list. They are:
- Blocking, forcibly occupying or attacking ticket counters, security lines or gates;
- Brawling or picking quarrels at the airport or inside an aircraft;
- Physically attacking or threatening to attack civil aviation staff;
- Violating passenger cabin safety rules, refusing to obey orders from the flight crew;
- Forcibly attacking the cockpit, opening emergency doors without permission;
- Forcibly boarding or intercepting an aircraft;
- Intentionally damaging airport or aircraft equipment;
- Creating and/or intentionally distributing fake terrorist information;
- Entering ramp areas, runways or taxiways; and
- Preventing civil aviation staff from doing their jobs, inciting others to do the same and anything else that disturbs aviation order orcreatesan extremely negative social influence. (This is a blanket category which allows authorities to punish virtually any behavior they see as undesirable.)
In making its announcement on the creation of the Blacklist, CATA said it will record personal information of passengers concerned and share it with airline companies and the TravelSky Holding Co., a state-owned service provider of aviation information that operates China’s national electronic travel distribution system. CATA will keep information on misbehaving air travelers for a year but it didn’t specify what punishments await those who end up on the list. Perhaps those on the official Blacklist will be punished, in effect, through the public shame of having their actions detailed online. It is also possible that they can be banned from air travel.