Any frequent traveler has no doubt had their share of flight delays, be it due to mechanical errors or weather conditions.  It certainly sucks, but it’s not the end of the world.

However, an extremely long delay coupled with poor communication between China’s Kunming Changshui International Airport staff and their customers put thousands of angry passengers on the brink of full-scale rioting.

According to reports from Chinese media, the civil order steadily began to deteriorate as if the airport bar was manned by that ghost from The Shining serving up glasses of madness to all his customers.

It all began on January 3…

During a typical day at Kunming Changshui International Airports staff and customers went about their busy day happily.  Little did they know a hideous cloud of fog was about to descend upon them.

Suddenly all flights in and out of the airport became delayed.  The thick fog had made air travel impossible.  Passengers were understandably bummed.

By the morning of the 4 January, all landings and takes off continued to be delayed.  However, new passengers kept arriving for their flights.  The number of people swelled leaving little space in the airport.

No announcements regarding the resumption of services were made and the schedule boards were shut down.  Many stranded travelers were unable to get a clear mobile reception as well. A state of confusion began to consume the masses.

By the afternoon, the fog had not shifted, and the tension of the passengers was at its peak.

The airlines had sent out lunches for customers while they waited.  However when the food came out the people scrambled to get at it. The ensuing frenzy got so bad that lunch carts were being overturned.  From that point on no food, not even water was sent out.

By the evening of the fourth, hostilities between passengers and airport staff escalated. A veritable sea of people descended on security officials with angry complaints in various parts of the airport.

Although there were no official reports of violence, some passengers were heard yelling, “I was hit!” The merciless fog, however, simply lingered.

Meanwhile, while the staff was way “investigating service conditions,” a group of irate customers seized control of a check-in counter.  Chants of “Let us go home soon!” filled the air well into the night.

By the fifth, the fog had finally lifted, and airport service resumed. One by one customers were put on their flights and taken far away from the nightmare that gripped their lives at Kunming Changshui International Airport on that fateful day.

Just then an aging jazz musician ran into the waiting area searching for a young boy with psychic powers who called him.  The scat man was too late.  The boy had boarded.

Source: Searchina (Japanese)
Images: HLJ News (Chinese)

Chinese News Report of the Choas