Air China Issues Apology Following “Safety Tips” Flub

Filed Under: Air China, Media

Yesterday I posted about how Air China was under fire following what was printed in one of their inflight magazines, Wings of China. In a feature about London they suggested that extra precautions are needed when “entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people.” They also suggested that “females always be accompanied by another person when traveling,” which seems like an awfully broad generalization to make.


Suffice to say most people weren’t too pleased with this “advice.” I think it goes without saying that the article didn’t represent the views of Air China as such, but rather was a combination of an out-of-touch writer combined with a bad translation.

On the plus side, Air China has very quickly responded to this situation, and has already issued a statement. They’ve apologized for what happened, ordered the removal of the magazine from all Air China aircraft, and have also demanded that the Wings of China editorial team “learn the lesson” and avoid a similar situation in the future.


Kudos to Air China for their response here, which has been about as good as it could be.

What do you make of Air China’s response to the situation?

(Tip of the hat to @Roar_Singh and @shukla_tahun)

  1. No apology from Air China would change the reality and perspective of many ignorant and racist viewers of yours whether it be pro-first world ppl or hypocritical defenders like Loz. I hope you aren’t posting these just to spurn viewership to your site cuz it seems like it

  2. “Kudos to Air China for their response here, which has been about as good as it could be.”

    Really? After making a racist statement against 2 countries and ‘black people’ across the world, the response doesn’t even apologize for hurting sentiments. But honestly that’s what we have to expect from China. They are an arrogant bunch and it wont be long before they behave the same way with Americans.

    Chinese tourists are the worst. Their own premier is a pompous arrogant person (ever seen him walk towards another head of state to shake hands? He will always stand still while the other head of state walks up to him) so I’m not surprised that even their airline is downright racist.

  3. Can someone please create a meme about Nick?
    Something like this: “complains that Air China didn’t apologize for being racist….goes on a racist rant about Chinese people”

  4. Well, at least Loz can relax and sleep more soundly at night now. Until the next article Lucky posts about India…

  5. @Nick
    You start by condemning what you perceive to be racism and then launch into a racist tirade of your own?

  6. Looking forward to today’s race baiting posts. Yesterdays was so informative.

    If you need help I can come up with something about gays very quickly.

    Love to help you out. #HelpingLuckyBait.

  7. @Lucky

    Air China watered down on your spin, they removed their apology tweet and calling it a misinterpretation/misunderstanding.

    The text and translation is an internal communication from Wings of China to Air China. Again there is no apology in it.

    What bothers me is you continue to promoted your biased towards brown people, which is hypocritical because you would have faced discrimination because of your alternate lifestyle and should have empathy towards other minorities.

  8. @Desi

    If Lucky wants to start a family he has to adopt from China, so he has to be nice to Chinese.

    India/Pakistan are not the best choices to get a baby, because of skin color, religion and Indian laws are getting weirder by the day for adoption/surrogacy by same sex couples.

  9. To be frank, right now anyone who is not British should be wary when visiting London. The Brexit referendum has really brought out some harsh language and actions on the streets.

    Very disappointed to see such naivety from Air China.

    Why do you even post all this garbage on your high quality blog, as if it’s a tabloid?

  10. Taking responsibility for mistakes and doing what you can to fix it – something the European and American airlines can learn from Air China.

  11. @George,
    LOL – No doubt.

    Quick – run to your safe space – may I suggest West Englewood in Chicago?

  12. Air China didn’t seem to say “sorry”, “apologize”, or anything similar. So, not sure where the post headline came from. Closest they came was calling it “inappropriate” but that’s not an apology.

  13. It’s like a king’s new cloak, every one knows it’s fake pretense & hypocrisy but calling it out is inappropriate. AC said what it is and got under fire. this is what this place has become. we need all to pretend this is a uniform harmonious and bury heads in sand. but you go ahead & go to those neighborhoods, me & family are staying away.

  14. Don’t know about the rest of the people here, but it’s the vastly under-educated Caucasian gun-wielding male individuals in the States who frighten me the most…

    African American neighborhoods known for gang violence come second (aka Chicago, Oakland, Gary, etc.).

    Typically find that South Asians live in highly affluent communities and are highly educated in the US.

    Does Air China have warnings about the first two population segments of the US that I refer to on their magazines to/fro the US? If not, they should be consistent with each region.

  15. @Samantha – not Air China but many countries do indeed warn their citizens from travel to the US and rightly so! The reason is exactly due to the “under-educated Caucasian gun-wielding” populations mainly!

    “The United Arab Emirates, Bahamas, France, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Germany are among those urging caution to U.S.-bound travelers. The concerns include mass shootings, police violence, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT attitudes and the Zika virus.”

  16. “Typically find that South Asians live in highly affluent communities and are highly educated in the US.”

    The well educated white collar ones, yes. Can’t say the same about the ones who drive cabs, work in convenience stores, etc. A good majority of Asians in the US are educated and do well, but blanket statements that all are doing that well is just stupid.


    Most Americans are secure enough to not really give a fcuk. Plus, those warning those don’t really matter, people from those countries and others still have America as one of their top choices to travel to, for work and pleasure, relocate, study, etc.

  17. Gerard, there is a massive difference between:

    “The United Arab Emirates, Bahamas, France, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Germany are among those urging caution to U.S.-bound travelers. The concerns include mass shootings, police violence, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT attitudes and the Zika virus.”


    “Stay away from brown and black people! Don’t venture into their areas!” a la Air China.

    Imagine this:

    “The United Arab Emirates, Bahamas, France, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Germany are among those urging caution to U.S.-bound travelers. The concerns include mass shootings by Americans of White Caucasoid descent, police violence from predominantly Caucasoid stock, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT attitudes and the Zika virus.” That would send the Sieg Heil crowd into a tizzy.

    BTW, the prime reason I was pissed was because the bigotry that fuelled the statement wasn’t rooted in fact. Air China may have a point about the predominantly Muslim areas that have seen violent Jihadi attacks as of late – I am Hindu myself and I would be unsafe in such areas for obvious reasons (me being a ‘kafir’ and whatnot) – but to drag Indians and the Black/Caribbean community into it… nah. There is no evidence, no stats that suggests that areas of London that are predominantly Indian and/or Black are any more dangerous than other parts. Indians in London are not slum dwellers you know? They’re some of the richest people in the country, like Lakshmi Mittal. The Chinese in London can only dream to have some of the wealth we have amassed. This is nothing but Chinese foolishness at display here. They’re very insular people and know less about the outside world than most Westerners and Asians, which is why they’re so ignorant and inconsiderate when they travel abroad.

    @Credit: “Looking forward to today’s race baiting posts. Yesterdays was so informative.

    If you need help I can come up with something about gays very quickly.

    Love to help you out. #HelpingLuckyBait.”

    LOL. You should actually give it a shot. Considering that Lucky regularly flies airlines like Emirates, Qatar and Saudia, airlines that represent countries where gay people are stoned and beheaded, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind posting something remotely homophobic.

  18. Julia: “Most Americans are secure enough to not really give a fcuk.”

    And you know this for a fact? It hasn’t happened yet. I’m pretty sure that the day a country posts a travel advisory that warns their citizens to stay away from “White Americans” will be the day that every major news media outlet in your country goes ballistic and screams about “reverse racism”. You’re just assuming things.

    Also, you must be really unintelligent if you think that the people targeted by Air China’s advisory are ‘insecure’ for, you know, merely standing up against such blatant misinformation and bigotry. That literally makes no sense at all.

  19. Maybe Loz can join Nick in The People Who Say Stupid Bigoted Things While Trying to Defend Groups Who Have Had Bigoted Comments Made About Them group? “Ew, stay away from those stinky Muslim areas. Black and non-Hindu Asians? Nah, we cool”.

  20. “And you know this for a fact? It hasn’t happened yet”

    And it won’t. American really don’t care. And yes, being upset over a silly article like this is being extremely insecure.

    “You’re just assuming things.”

    You’re assuming I am American, for some reason. Pointing out how others make assumptions while making your own? You really are a hypocrite.

    What word will you be using to say goodbye to us this time? You’ll be back for some reason anyway…

  21. @Julia – I don’t see what was a “blanket statement” in Samantha’s post. All metrics on US labor data show that Asians (especially South Asians) belong to the upper strata of the socio-economic ladder. In addition, they also contribute to the lowest percentage of low income and/or individuals living in poverty of any ethnic group in the US.

    The Indians you mention that work in convenience stores: A lot of them are proprietors of these establishments.

    Yes – some are taxi drivers (I love that that is the number 1 blue collar profession attributed to Indians in the US – so cliched and outdated) but they constitute a very small percentage of their population.

    Some basic research to guide you:

    Finally, the warnings from other countries on travel to the US actually matter a lot. US tourism growth and its impact to the overall GDP has not been proportional to growth observed in other countries. Tourism is one of the biggest commercial industries to the US – especially from Western Europeans whose citizens tend to be some of the highest spenders. There was a recent article on NPR about how the US is trying to compete for tourism with its neighbors during a period where tourism is needed more than ever. Other good metrics:

    Lastly, many Americans do care about the activities in our country. Perhaps not yourself, but for others all of these actions have a profound effect on our identity and psyche. If anything, your statement would be a perfect example of a blanket statement since it offers no evidence.

  22. @Loz – Stick to facts and figures and not your emotions man. You do realize that this blog is insignificant in the entire scheme of things, right? Many use it for info while others (such as I) use it to waste what little time we are allowed to waste. Although the comments section is a fascinating social experiment in general even though the substance in the articles are marginal.

  23. @Loz,

    I doubt that… 99% of the news media in the US would prefer the “White Americans” be an extinct species.

  24. Julia: “And yes, being upset over a silly article like this is being extremely insecure.”

    No. No it isn’t. You’re viewing things from your cushy Western perspective instead of putting yourself into our shoes. You don’t belong to a demographic that is constantly demonised or put-down. You don’t know what it feels like to have salt constantly rubbed into your wounds. The Air China advisory was bloody dehumanising, and you and many of the commenters know this. I am all for being blunt and non-PC as possible, but there’s a fine line between that and blatant misinformation mixed with bigotry, of which the AC advisory was the latter. It is beyond shocking that so many of you are bending over backwards to condone AC’s advisory instead of condemning it. You’re “travellers” and “explorers” indeed – I’d have mistaken this website to be a place where hicks and rednecks congregate and talk about incest instead of a global website where people discuss travel.

    The strange thing about OMAAT is many of you go into self-righteous mode whenever Lucky posts articles about Muslim Americans being treated like crap on AA and Delta. You clearly see that as dehumanising, but this gets a free pass in your book for reasons unknown to me.

  25. @Loz – the problem isn’t with what you are feeling, but how you write it. You feelings are legitimate. Generalizing any population on the basis of a few is frankly stupid. However, in your commentaries, do try to segregate your hatred with dehumanizing others in the process. For example, “hicks” and “rednecks”? Unnecessary – don’t bow down to the levels of another as retaliation. If I have learned anything in my travels and interactions (especially on my numerous trips to India), it is that. There are many of us who find statements such as those made by Air China foolish just as you, and we are not of African American, Indian or Pakistani descent! However, don’t degenerate others when responding because it only alienates you further.

  26. Furthermore: I, as an American, don’t get a free pass. I have felt being judged as the “ignorant & self-entitled” American around the world. However, on the majority, the world is full of wonderful and kind-hearted people. So, don’t think you can define us based on the few who comment on this blog or you may have interacted with.

  27. “You’re viewing things from your cushy Western perspective instead of putting yourself into our shoes. You don’t belong to a demographic that is constantly demonised or put-down. You don’t know what it feels like to have salt constantly rubbed into your wounds.”

    Again, making assumptions about me without knowing anything about me. Keep it up. I’m glad you keep coming back, we all need a good laugh every now and then.

  28. +1 to Emily and +1 to Jared

    Air China’s media editors are clearly idiotic. As a Londoner, the areas associated with those populations in London aren’t even the high crime areas. Areas associated with high poverty are. What utter rubbish.

    Let’s not forget that the Chinese media is often naive on racial, ethnic and gender subjects as proven by this controversial commercial (which violates all three):

  29. @Jared

    Even after the travel warnings to the US were issued by some countries, most Americans just seemed to shrug it off.

    “so cliched and outdated”

    Hence me saying etc instead of a long drown out list. I thought it was implied, but will be more specific in the future.

  30. @Julia – perhaps you don’t get it. The warnings are not for Americans, they are for those coming to America!

    Also, if I look at Jared’s post, which clearly states that many of the convenience store workers actually are proprietors (or their families are), then your bullet list comes down to “cab drivers, etc.” An “etc” isn’t applied to a list of two. I am sure there are more blue collared jobs that the South Asian population in the US can be listed to be employed in, but it still doesn’t actually support your point because the ratio of those workers to the total ethnic group is minuscule. This is largely due to the fact that immigrants from South Asia now a days usually only come under the F1, H1B, L1 or the O1 visa categories. Hence, you are going to end up with highly-skilled and highly-paid workers.

    In contrast, many of the immigrants to the UK came as asylum seekers in the early 50s and 60s (the taxi drivers you mention in the US were also asylum seekers during the 70s and 80s and some of their descendants continue the role whereas many own taxi businesses). However, the demographics for recent immigrants from South Asia to the UK are similar to those in the US.

    Regardless, I am enjoying this back and forth between Loz and you so keep it for all our entertainment!

  31. Loz is type of person already teetering on the edge and is very susceptible to being recruited to commit an act of terror.

  32. I still have a TWA complimentary Map from 1970 they gave to passengers flying into NY which shows Manhattan up to about 110th street (completely cutting off Harlem). I was living on 125th and wouldn’t have invited anyone who was not streetwise to visit me, much less an unsuspecting foreign tourist.

    I appreciate being warned about rough or less secure areas when visiting a new place and new culture. In New Orleans someone created a map of safe areas based upon violent crime statistics. Since a few of the worst neighborhoods border the French Quarter and other heavily visited tourist areas, I believe it is helpful for tourist to be warned.

    If people living in those neighborhoods don’t want to be redlined and also enjoy jobs and dollars that can flow their way, they need to take responsibility and clean up their neighborhoods. It ain’t color. It’s culture.

  33. @TheTruthIs

    Sure. But, what they claim in their statements is actually not the truth and doesn’t even make sense.

    Coming from a Londoner – born and bred. Here is a more useful guide published by the Standard – too bad many of the areas are actually tourist attractions so I guess don’t come to London.

  34. Air China’s next advice on routes to the USA:

    “Avoid traveling to predominantly white and predominantly black neighborhoods within the US in fear of getting shot.”


  35. Knife crime? That’s hard for a North American to get their head around. Ha Ha.

    I don’t know what the veracity of the warning is since it’s been so long since I visited London. However, I do take most government travel warnings seriously (not AC’s magazine) because in most cases it’s actually worse but everyone is afraid of losing tourist dollars and don’t want to offend friendly countries.

    Warning people that New Delhi and Beijing are two of the most polluted cities in the world is just fact. Warning people of high crime neighborhoods is helpful even if 95% are non-violent, law abiding citizens. Why take a chance on meeting the 5% that aren’t?

  36. Look, the point is to have common sense. I love to travel to Chicago; it’s my favorite city in the US. Doesn’t mean I am gonna walk around at 1 am on Michigan Ave (or in my case a more apt corollary is Hubbard Street which is home to my favorite Jazz Club in the world – Andy’s). Similarly, don’t be walking around late at night in any areas of London! Go about and explore in the day time, but just use common sense. You are equally likely to get mugged in any district on London regardless of its ethnic demographics.

    Coming from a guy who was mugged at knife-point (go on and laugh) once (not by a person of color I suppose is what you would say in the US) at Charing Cross station when I was piss drunk @ 1 or maybe 2 in the morning.

  37. Julia

    In US Chinese are no match in socioeconomic status. Indians on average have higher education and average family income. Indian dominated areas in any suburb are affluent. I don’t know about UK.

    The Indian guys you come across in gas stations, fast food restaurants, motels anywhere, they are the franchise owners. Some of these franchises cost between $250,000 – $1 Million. And they are hiring bulk of entry level minimum wage jobs for others.

    I was surprised to see the motel owner at the foothills of Yosemite park was a Pakistani. Place was well maintained for being located so remote.

    Is SF Sunset District the best? may be not, we rented from a Chinese family thru Airbnb and we enjoyed the stay. Hosts were great. One block away from beach. It was very affordable and local eateries and pizzerias were excellent. People were nice. Street parking instructions/rules were crazy

    So no one (other than Lucky) cares if an airline which can fill only 50% loads even with cheapest fares has a biased view.

  38. @ Rui N – instead of asking someone to create a meme, perhaps you should worry about the Chinese making you/ your pets into a momo and eating it.

    @Paolo – please read again – I have stated facts which are completely true, published in major newspapers, magazines and by people on various travel forums. Stating that the majority of Chinese are the worst travellers, and that the Chinese premier is a pompous dictator who has problems with every single neighbour (Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia) as well as the United States doesn’t make me a racist. It makes me a realist.

    The only 2 countries that it does support and gets support from are 2 rogue nations (Pakistan and North Korea) since it uses them as pawns against common enemies.

    @Joe – Lets wake up and face the facts. China (Its Govt and its people) have this new found sense of being BETTER than everyone else. Read reports of how they disregard UN decisions (South China sea). Read about how their citizens ignore the laws of the lands they visit. Read about the Yulin dog meat festival.

    The problem with today’s society is that you call a spade a spade and suddenly you’re branded as a racist/ right winged lunatic.

  39. @Nick

    One could argue Air China is also telling the truth. In general institutional racism is widely accepted than individual racism.

    It appears Lucky is going route promoting institutional bias. Everyone will have fun, but not good for revenues in the long run.

  40. I have traveled to approximately 140 countries around the world – yet the only place I experienced theft was in China. That too, in downtown Shanghai under the eyes of the police… surprised they don’t have the same caution for tourists visiting China.

  41. it’s easy to find out whether it’s truth or a prejudice. just look at the crime rate among the mentioned areas with respective to other areas.

    same with academic performance among different ethnic groups.

    there are some truth that cannot be told due to political correctness.

  42. Do your own research!

    I live in Cincinnati (currently) and the neighborhoods with the lowest crime rates in the greater Cinci region have large migrant populations from South Asians and East Asians; i.e. Mason, Indian Hill, etc. Unsurprisingly, these are also the neighborhoods with the highest income, lowest poverty and best school districts. I noticed the same trends when I lived in Boston, Cali, Chicago, Seattle, and Boise. Regions with highest crime rates correlate directly with high poverty and are heavily populated by African Americans – fact! Everywhere else falls somewhere in between. That’s just how it is in the US so I warn my family and friends to stay away from certain predominantly African American – doesn’t mean I have anything against African Americans or of the sort, but the numbers support my cautious actions!

    Course, in the case of Air China, I disagree with their warning for London. My experience as an expat in London has been that the neighborhoods with the highest crime rates were often populated by the laboring white classes – often unemployed and victims of drug addiction. The biggest advice I have for anyone traveling to London: do not act like a tourist cause you will be targeted and imho, most of the crimes against tourists occur in the touristic areas. Also, London by day and London by night are two different cities. Be cautious where-ever you are at night!

    The problem with these stupid advice (for example by Air China) is that people drop their guards.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *