Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hawaiian Airlines' Cultural Insensitivity to Koreans

A Hawaiian Airlines passenger plane bound for Incheon International Airport, which last year won the title of World's Best Airport for the sixth year in a row, returned to Honolulu Airport shortly after takeoff Saturday, causing considerable inconvenience to Korean honeymooners and other passengers who had visited the U.S. resort island.

The flight had taken off at 1.45pm on Saturday, but it returned to Hawaii after an unspecified problem with the aircraft which one of the passengers said the pilot had announced as a "faulty fuel device".

Passengers were asked to transfer to another plane, which departed 9 hours later - despite the fact that many of the Koreans on the flight were busy and didn't have time to return to Honolulu just because of a fault with the aircraft. After it landed, 40 passengers protested at the airport for three hours, demanding compensation for having their time wasted and for Hawaiian Airlines extreme cultural insensitivity to Koreans.

"My car had a faulty fuel gauge for three years and I never had to return home because of it." said 34 year-old Kim, an engineer from Seoul. The protest dissipated when the protesting passengers were told the aircraft had to return because it had run out of kimchi.

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