Several travelers have been in limbo at Hong Kong International Airport amid the travel restrictions brought on by the global health crisis. Passengers passing through from Dubai, the United Kingdom, and Canada have all been stuck for up to three months. One of the most recent cases involves a woman who stayed for three weeks in the hub after arriving from London.
Lost in transit
According to the South China Morning Post, the 63-year-old woman arrived on a British Airways flight on June 13th. She was on her way to Zhuhai, Guangdong, but with transit services on hold, there was no connection on to mainland China, where she resides.
All transit services at Hong Kong Airport were suspended on March 25th. However, the hub resumed these types of flights on June 1st. Despite this progress, mainland China still had strict restrictions in place for transfers.
It is believed that the flier went to the UK to visit family earlier this year. Due to the travel restrictions in the country, she ended up having to stay there for five months.
After weeks of struggle, the report states that the traveler was finally allowed to fly to Shanghai on July 5th. Some sources say that she refused to be sent back to London free of charge and was eventually sent on her way to the Chinese mainland for free.
However, authorities have been accused of double standards because, in previous incidents, passengers stuck were forced to return to their points of origin. Nonetheless, an Airport Authority spokesperson has shared that there are no more passengers stranded at the airport following the woman’s departure.
Previously, the most impacted traveler had been a Cathay Pacific passenger that was living in the airport for three months. The man arrived from Canada in March and was heading to Vietnam. At the time, there was no restriction in Canada, but Vietnam had closed its border to international flights. It was later revealed that he had a Hong Kong identity card. Therefore, he cleared immigration to enter the city on July 2nd.
Nonetheless, inconsistencies are appearing when it comes to those allowed to continue their journey. Most passengers had to return from where they arrived from. However, the person in the most recent case was allowed to travel to China’s mainland.
Regardless, it is approaching half a year since when travel restrictions had started amid the coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, there has been enough time to place efficient, consistent measures that allow passengers to travel without having to be stranded.
Simple Flying reached out to British Airways for comment on this incident at Hong Kong International Airport. However, we did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What are your thoughts about passengers getting stuck amid the pandemic? Do you know anyone that has been stranded over the last few months? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.