33 passengers flying from Shenzhen to Sanya were unable to board their flight at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport Thursday morning, after the Hainan Airlines flight which took off from Sanya was temporarily changed to a smaller one due to mechanical failure, sina.com reports.
The 33 passengers included 6 individual passengers and 2 tour groups. They were told that they could not board their flight at Hainan Airlines' check-in counter when they arrived at the airport about 10:00am on Dec. 16.
According to the Hainan Airlines Shenzhen branch, they were informed of the plane change only after the flight took off from Sanya, and it was too hasty for them to re-arrange the flight as it only took one hour flying from Sanya to Shenzhen.  
The airline staff said they were only able to arrange the flight to Haikou and then transfer the passengers to Sanya by long-distance bus.
However, one tour group with 14 passengers were unsatisfied with the airlines explanation and refused the arrangement. They returned to downtown Shenzhen that afternoon.
The airline staff told the reporter that they had checked other flights in Shenzhen and Zhuhai after the incident happened, but only to find that all the flights from Shenzhen to Sanya were full.
According to the report, 6 individual passengers boarded other flights later that day, one tour group with 13 passengers took the flight to Haikou and transferred to Sanya, and the other tour group with 14 passengers finally agreeed to change their departure time to Dec. 18.