China Eastern Airlines has denied allegations made by an Indian passenger who claimed to be insulted during his stopover at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, as reported by an Indian news outlet.
The Times of India on Thursday said the standoff between India and China in Donglang area seemed to have changed the attitude of Chinese staffs at Shanghai airport towards Indian passengers, after Satnam Singh Chahal, executive director of North American Punjabi Association wrote a letter to Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, relating his experience of facing rough treatment at the Shanghai airport.
"During the transit process at Shanghai Pudong, I noticed that at the exit gate of the airplane for wheelchair passengers, ground staff was insulting passengers of Indian origin," Chahal noted in the letter.
He said when he landed at the airport on August 6 to catch his next flight MU 589 on China Eastern Airlines on his way from New Delhi to San Francisco, Indian passengers in wheelchairs were forced to run to the departure gate after being abandoned by airport staff carriers midway.
Chahal wants the Indian Minister of External Affairs to take up the issue with her Chinese counterpart and claimed he was insulted due to "the rising border tension between India and China."
"When I reached the counter I asked for help of the officer who was deputed to do that. Instead of giving any help, the said officer jumped on me with anger without any reason. When he was shouting at me, his other fellow staff members were making fun of me," Chahal recalled in the letter, adding he later perceived from their body language that it was the escalating border tension between the two countries to be blamed for their alleged bad attitude.
"After checking related materials and the airport surveillance footage, we found the news report was not in line with the facts," China Eastern Airlines said in a statement on Saturday on its official Weibo account following an investigation.
"We are dedicated to provide quality service to passengers around the world," the airline further stated while repudiating the claims of unfair treatment.