Virgin Atlantic Airways probing incident where passenger claimed she was called a 'Chinese pig' by man

Virgin Atlantic Airways is investigating an alleged incident when a Chinese woman said she was abused by a fellow passenger.
Virgin Atlantic Airways is investigating an alleged incident when a Chinese woman said she was abused by a fellow passenger. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Virgin Atlantic said on Thursday (March 17) that it was investigating an alleged incident on a recent flight from London to Shanghai when a Chinese woman said she was abused by a fellow passenger.

The passenger, who was on Virgin flight VS250 on March 1, said she was insulted by a Caucasian male passenger and subsequently allegedly ignored by a flight attendant.

Her blog post on the incident went viral on social media in China. In her post, she claimed that the man had called her a "Chinese pig" in a vulgarity-laced rant.

When confronted, he just raised his fist and continued the stream of invective, she said.

She also claimed that a flight attendant ignored her when she complained about the verbal assault to him.

By late Thursday Beijing time, over five million users had read about the issue on the Chinese social media site Weibo, which is similar to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook.

The airline said the company will not "comment further until we have resolved the issue with our customer directly".

In a statement passed to China Daily by spokesman Jason Betts, Virgin Atlantic said: "We are aware of an issue on a recent flight and would like to reassure the customer that we are taking her claims seriously and are fully investigating the circumstances. The safety and well-being of our passengers is always our priority, and we will continue to speak directly with the customer to ensure the situation is resolved."

In a later statement, provided by spokesman Louise Holding, Virgin Atlantic said: "We are aware of the concern around the alleged incident on flight VS250. We are a multinational company with zero tolerance of racism."

The carrier declined to provide any further details, adding: "This is an ongoing investigation."