Virgin launches investigation into claims passenger racially abused on flight

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-3-17 21:33:02

Britain's Virgin Atlantic airline said Thursday that they have set up a special team to investigate claims that a Chinese passenger was racially abused by another passenger on a March 1 flight from London to Shanghai.

The claims were originally posted on Airlines Stories, a WeChat public account that that posts news stories about air travel, on March 16 and soon went viral online.

The female Chinese passenger was quoted as saying a white passenger began hurling racial epithets at her and swearing without any provocation.

A Virgin spokesperson told the Global Times on Thursday that the company's executives are taking this report seriously and have organized a special investigation team composed of personnel from a variety of departments. The spokesperson added that the company has contacted the Chinese passenger involved.

However, the spokesperson said that they could currently offer no details on when the results of their investigation would be released.

According to an anonymous Chinese stewardess quoted in the story, a steward named Nathan Smith told his colleagues to ignore the incident or they would remove the Chinese passenger from the flight. The story does not say if the flight was in the air at the time.

The Chinese passenger also claimed that Smith said the male passenger had mental health problems but did not move him away from the plane's other passengers.

The Chinese passenger was also quoted as saying that she received an email from Virgin on March 12, after more than 10 days of complaining, but she said it was more like a "template" message than a real apology.

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