Cathay Pacific crew fired for mocking passengers who couldn’t speak English manta on flight in China

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s leading airline, has sacked three flight attendants accused of mocking passengers’ English skills.

During a Sunday flight from Chengdu, China, to Hong Kong, a passenger reported that flight attendants discriminated against non-English speakers, according to Reuters.

The incident involved flight attendants privately venting their frustrations and beating up Chinese passengers who mistakenly used the word “mat” instead of “blanket” when requesting one.

“If you can’t talk in general, you can’t have it.” Hong Kong-based airline, Cathay Pacific Airways @Cathay Pacifichas come under fire after a passenger accused flight attendants of ridiculing and denying service to those who cannot speak English, prompting an apology from…

— Ifeng News (@IFENG__official) May 23, 2023

An alleged voice recording of the incident, which has circulated on social media, appears to capture a crew member uttering the following words:

“If you can’t say blanket in English, you can’t have it.”

“If you can’t say ‘blanket’ in English, you can’t have it”: Recording of crew aboard Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific insulting mainland Chinese passengers “for hours” over their English by u/Chinese_poster in Chinese

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“The rug is on the floor, feel free to lie on it if you want.” they added.

In a statement issued to Insider, Ronald Lam, CEO of Cathay Pacific, said:

“In accordance with company policy, we have terminated three cabin crew members who were involved.”

In response to the incident, Cathay Pacific initially suspended the flight attendants involved and launched an internal investigation, Reuters reported.

“I would like to extend my sincerest apologies again to the concerned customer and community for the incident,Lam said.

In addition, the CEO said he would personally head a task force responsible for evaluating the airline’s service procedures and staff training.

#UPDATE Cathay Pacific Airways suspended cabin crew members on Tuesday after a Chinese netizen reported alleged discrimination against non-English speaking passengers on flight CX987.@Cathay Pacific He said he has begun an immediate internal investigation and the findings…

— Ifeng News (@IFENG__official) May 23, 2023

“We will take this as a valuable lesson and strive to provide our customers with a more satisfying travel experience.” Lam said.

According to Reuters, the People’s Daily accused the airline of “exalting English and belittling Mandarin” in response to the incident, which drew strong condemnation from Chinese state media.


Hong Kong, a particular administrative region of China, came under Chinese rule in 1997 through legal arrangements that led to major protests.

Initially established as a British colony after the conclusion of the First Opium War, Hong Kong continues to recognize English as an official language alongside Chinese.

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