FLIGHT attendants got off a delayed Hainan Airlines aircraft in Huanghua Airport in Changsha, capital of Hunan Provice, leaving behind disgruntled passengers who were seeking compensation.

Flight number HU7136, scheduled to depart from the Changsha airport at 8:30pm on Wednesday to Beijing, was delayed for 22 hours due to storms and finally took off at 6:15pm on Thursday.

Some 260 passengers waited on the Airbus 330 jet until air crew informed them at 5am on Thursday that the plane wouldn’t be taking off and that they would be accommodated in a hotel.

Most passengers left the plane but around 10 refused to accept the arrangement and sought compensation, claiming the airline should have told them earlier.

"Airlines should arrange accommodation for passengers if a plane is delayed for more than four hours, but we were still in the cabin after six hours," one passenger told Beijing Times.

When the passengers questioned flight attendants, they got off the plane, leaving passengers in the cabin, the newspaper said.

Some passengers then began smoking and drinking beer, it was reported.

He Xuri, Hainan Airlines’ head of business in Changsha airport, said that they had broadcast an announcement before air crew left but admitted it was "a small mistake" to leave passengers on the aircraft.

An official of Hainan Airlines told Shanghai Daily that some flight attendants left because their shifts ended, but others remained onboard.

 
 
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