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Blacklisted passenger loses rights case
Published on: 2009-11-12
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A man suing his former airline employer for being denied travel on its planes lost his case yesterday at Chaoyang district court.

Fan Youjun, 37, told the court the ruling was unfair and he would appeal to the Beijing No 2 Intermediate Court.

Fan joined Xiamen Airlines as an aviation safety officer in 1993. In July 2003 he failed a qualification exam and was then fired from his position on Sept 1, 2004, the court's press release said.

On March 6, 2005, Xiamen Airlines sent a letter to several airlines companies and ticket agents in Fuzhou, advising against selling tickets to Fan.

The letter said when Fan left Xiamen Airlines, he had used "violent verbal and written words to threaten Xiamen Airlines."

Fan was first denied the boarding of a Xiamen Airlines flight on April 30, 2005. In March, 2006, he reached an agreement with Xiamen Airlines to be paid compensation of 190,000 yuan on condition he left Fuzhou and gave up his right to take Xiamen Airlines flights until he has a child.

Following the birth of his daughter, Fan, who now lives in Beijing, informed Xiamen Airlines in June 2008 of his change in status. From August to September 2008, Fan purchased Xiamen Airlines tickets on six separate occasions but was denied access to all.

Fan then took Xiamen Airlines to Chaoyang district court in September 2009, demanding an additional compensation of 60,826 yuan.

"I was put on a Xiamen Airlines' blacklist and targeted 'as a potentially dangerous man', which hurt my reputation and led to my divorce," Fan told METRO yesterday.

He said despite a partial lifting of the ban on Sept 11, he still faces excessive restrictions. He now has to apply directly to Xiamen Airlines to book a ticket, and is not allowed to book e-tickets.

Fan's lawyer Zhang Qihuai told METRO that the actions of Xiamen Airlines seriously violated Fan's rights.

Xiao Shuwei, a lawyer representing Xiamen Airlines, said Fan's words and acts posed a potential threat to other passengers, and the company had the right to refuse.

Wang Ying, president of the tribunal, said at a press conference after the hearing that the denial was a protective measure on the legitimate interests of other passengers, considering Fan's violent words and acts. It was also in line with international practices.

Yu Lijiang, vice-president of the No 1 civil court in Chaoyang district court, said there are no relevant laws to deal with "no-flight lists" in China, so airlines can infringe on passenger rights.

The Chaoyang district court sent an advisory to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and Xiamen Airlines, saying airlines need to standardize the denial processes and then make them publicly available after the CAAC examination.

"Airlines must ensure the denial process is open and transparent, because it is conducive to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of passengers," Yu said.

When airlines refuse to carry specific passengers, they should provide reasons, the advisory said.

According to international aviation practices, airline companies are authorized to deny passengers who threaten aircraft safety, said Liu Hao, assistant director of aviation law research center with Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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