Cathay Pacific Fires Pilots Who Lied, Got Coronavirus During Layover

Cathay Pacific Fires Pilots Who Lied, Got Coronavirus During Layover

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Several days ago I wrote about how Cathay Pacific put a bunch of employees into a 21-day quarantine, after three pilots tested positive for coronavirus following a layover at the same hotel in Germany. A couple of days ago we learned that the three pilots who tested positive for coronavirus got fired for breaching the rules, and we now have more details of what exactly happened.

Cathay Pacific pilots who got coronavirus breached rules

For context, earlier this month three Cathay Pacific cargo pilots tested positive for coronavirus after staying at the Hyatt Regency Mainz (just outside of Frankfurt) during a layover. What’s strange is that the three pilots tested positive on two separate trips, and apparently the two crews never interacted:

  • Two pilots arriving in Frankfurt on November 1 ended up testing positive for coronavirus
  • One pilot arriving in Frankfurt on November 3 ended up testing positive for coronavirus

Hong Kong has a zero tolerance approach towards coronavirus, and as a result has incredibly strict entry requirements, including a mandatory 21-day quarantine. Crews are generally exempt from this, but they have to constantly get tested, and can’t leave their hotel rooms during layovers.

A couple of days ago Danny Lee from the South China Morning Post broke some interesting news regarding this situation — Cathay Pacific had fired the three pilots who tested positive for coronavirus, after an internal investigation revealed a “serious breach” during a layover. The airline released the following statement:

“After investigation into these cases, regrettably, the findings indicate a serious breach of requirements during crew overseas layovers. The individuals concerned are no longer employed by Cathay Pacific. We acknowledge the impact these incidents have had on all of our people, their families and the community, especially those who are now being quarantined at a government facility.”

The pilots involved in the first layover were 57 and 29 years old (747-8 pilot in your 20s, how cool… well, I guess former 747 pilot), and initially claimed they didn’t leave their hotel rooms or participate in any gatherings.

Health authorities reveal more details about what happened

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has released an update regarding this situation. The good news is that 111 crew members who were in quarantine could be released shortly, based on the latest epidemiological information concerning the three cases above.

The reason all these employees were put into quarantine is because the pilots claimed they had never left their hotel rooms, implying that the hotel was the only possible common source of their infection. The three pilots have since admitted that they left their hotel rooms, visited places near the hotel multiple times, and met each other or friends.

Furthermore, the genetic sequences of the three cases are highly similar, so it’s very likely that the pilots acquired the infection from each other or a common source outside the hotel, and the possibility of an outbreak in the hotel was relatively low.

I think my theory from the beginning of this story has turned out to be correct:

Did one of the pilots on the first layover recommend an activity or service that involved close contact with one specific person to the pilot on the second layover? To me something along those lines seems like the most likely explanation.

While I personally think Hong Kong’s zero coronavirus strategy is over the top at a time when we have vaccines that work really well, ultimately the pilots deserved their fate, in my opinion:

  • They violated the company’s policy regarding not leaving rooms during layovers
  • They then lied about it, which was incredibly selfish and caused well over 100 people to be put into a 21-day quarantine camp; at least those people are being released now

Let me be clear, I don’t at all envy the position Cathay Pacific pilots are in. It must be awful not to be able to leave your layover hotel for 20 months and even get some fresh air, but this is simply a reality they have to deal with. I wouldn’t want to be in their situation, but that’s just how it is right now.

Based on this story, I can’t help but wonder if Cathay Pacific’s policy about not leaving rooms is widely followed, or if it only becomes a problem if you get caught. Are just a tiny percent of pilots violating the rules, or is this more common than we’d assume, and they just typically don’t get caught because they don’t get infected?

Bottom line

Cathay Pacific has fired the three pilots who tested positive for coronavirus following a layover in Germany. Not only did they breach the airline policy by leaving their hotel rooms, but they then lied about it, leading to over 100 Cathay Pacific employees being put into quarantine.

I think firing these pilots is totally fair, and I’m at least happy that the Cathay Pacific staff who just happened to stay at the same hotel are being released from quarantine.

What do you make of this Cathay Pacific situation?

Conversations (78)
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  1. Amre Guest

    This seems like a statistical anomaly. All the employees are vaccinated at that airline and only the three that got caught leaving their rooms and lying about it got covid and got fired? So 100% of people who worked for that airline and left their rooms got covid, tested positive after being vaccinated, lied about it, got caught and got fired? All the airline people I know are very aware that the hotel door makes...

    This seems like a statistical anomaly. All the employees are vaccinated at that airline and only the three that got caught leaving their rooms and lying about it got covid and got fired? So 100% of people who worked for that airline and left their rooms got covid, tested positive after being vaccinated, lied about it, got caught and got fired? All the airline people I know are very aware that the hotel door makes a digital record every time you open it. This story doesn't make sense to me at all.

  2. Tim Dunn Gold

    More and more passengers have decided connecting in Hong Kong is no longer an option. Stuff like this confirm that CX will never recover to its pre-covid position. Japanese and Korean airlines and their partners will benefit.

  3. Dave Guest

    What happened to giving people a second chance? Maybe the world laughs at Germany and Scandinavia but in those countries nobody would ruin people's lives over some mistake like this. The measure not to leave one's hotel room is draconian to begin with. Now they fired two trained pilots and if they don't get hired elsewhere (not exactly hiring season at airlines) their training will be for nothing. Deadweight loss to society.

    1. Weymar Osborne Gold

      Being given a second chance is very different than facing no consequences at all. The firing is a perfectly apt consequence for violations of a rule pertaining to a very serious matter. CX needed to bring the hammer down not only as a general reinforcement that employees cannot just break company policies and get off scot-free, but also for the specific matter of covid and to show to all of their air crews that quarantine...

      Being given a second chance is very different than facing no consequences at all. The firing is a perfectly apt consequence for violations of a rule pertaining to a very serious matter. CX needed to bring the hammer down not only as a general reinforcement that employees cannot just break company policies and get off scot-free, but also for the specific matter of covid and to show to all of their air crews that quarantine measures need to be followed. Demand for air cargo has never been higher and the airline industry, which was already facing a pilot shortage before the pandemic, will return after a few years to normal and continue to expand. They will fly aircraft again, and their newfound jobs with another airline will be their second chance.

    2. Kent Guest

      The crew breached corporate guidelines, placed others at risk and violated national regulations. If we work for a corporation, we must fulfill our contractual obligations and follow the corporate rules or we can seek employment elsewhere. These corporate requirements were clearly communicated to the crew. Furthermore, national laws and regulations must be followed, regardless of how we feel about them. A flagrant violation of rules demands a strong action.

  4. McExpat Guest

    Does anyone consider the long term negative psychological implications these insane measures are having on aircrew?
    I’m utterly appalled at the number of people that think it’s ok for these guys to be fired. Air crew are effectively prisoners in many parts of the world at the moment. In fact prisoners have more rights than pilots at the moment. It’s utter madness. The more we all accept this draconian nonsense the more it will...

    Does anyone consider the long term negative psychological implications these insane measures are having on aircrew?
    I’m utterly appalled at the number of people that think it’s ok for these guys to be fired. Air crew are effectively prisoners in many parts of the world at the moment. In fact prisoners have more rights than pilots at the moment. It’s utter madness. The more we all accept this draconian nonsense the more it will become the norm. Seriously are you really willing to curtail your personal freedoms at thus stage in the pandemic? After vaccination?

    1. Jkjkjk Guest

      Action and consequences.
      These people have options. They can leave. That’s freedom of choice that all hongkongers foreigners and locals are given despite some beliefs. No one is forcing them to stay in CX.

  5. Embpilot New Member

    It's good to know, Lucky, that with no experience as a pilot whatsoever you feel comfortable passing judgment on these crews. What a wild concept that they wouldn't want to be holed up in hotel rooms constantly after doing so for the last year.

  6. NYGuy24 New Member

    ::shrug:: Hope it was worth their jobs. Don't have any sympathy for these pilots. The fact they lied and causes such hardship to all those other people, let alone the lives they put in danger, shows they are not fit for duty.

  7. john Guest

    They should have been wearing their masks we all know that wearing the mask prevents the disease

    masks saves lives in all seriousness this is a little silly them firing those people can someone who's a little smarter than me please tell me How can there be a vaccine mandate if we have those HIPAA rules this is something I don't understand

    I am no doctor nor a health professional but I do not think a mask really helps

    1. Ray Guest

      Where does the mask come into play? This isn’t about masks. This is about procedures not being followed, lying, and putting others at risk. Funny how you anti-maskers are willing to let this slide but you are all patriots and law abiding.

  8. Ken Guest

    Sorry Ben if you think that vaccines work well, it is quite false. I was under the same impression as you until the Dutch version of cdc published its recent data on delta variant. 30% of ICU patients are vaccinated and it's increasing as the delta becomes dominant.
    https://www.rivm.nl/en/news/unvaccinated-covid-19-patients-in-hospital-nearly-20-years-younger-than-vaccinated-patients

    While I understand it is difficult to tolerate the HK rules, many governments should be working to stop the spread before more mutations happen. I...

    Sorry Ben if you think that vaccines work well, it is quite false. I was under the same impression as you until the Dutch version of cdc published its recent data on delta variant. 30% of ICU patients are vaccinated and it's increasing as the delta becomes dominant.
    https://www.rivm.nl/en/news/unvaccinated-covid-19-patients-in-hospital-nearly-20-years-younger-than-vaccinated-patients

    While I understand it is difficult to tolerate the HK rules, many governments should be working to stop the spread before more mutations happen. I can understand why some countries want to stay conservative on this because their conservative measures saved a lot lives last year

    1. David Diamond

      In the very article you quoted:
      "Because more and more people are vaccinated, the percentage of vaccinated people who are admitted to hospital is increasing."

      If 30% of ICU patients are vaccinated, and they currently have a full vaccination rate of 82.7%, that's 5 vaccinated people for every 1 vaccinated out there, while only less than 1 out of 3 ICU patients are vaccinated, which means vaccines are 93% effective at preventing ICU admissions....

      In the very article you quoted:
      "Because more and more people are vaccinated, the percentage of vaccinated people who are admitted to hospital is increasing."

      If 30% of ICU patients are vaccinated, and they currently have a full vaccination rate of 82.7%, that's 5 vaccinated people for every 1 vaccinated out there, while only less than 1 out of 3 ICU patients are vaccinated, which means vaccines are 93% effective at preventing ICU admissions. It's not difficult to do that math yourself, but failing that you could at least just read what you reference.

    2. David Diamond

      I need my morning cup of coffee. 1 in 3 is a ratio of 1:2 so the ICU prevention figure should be 90%, not 93%.

    3. Luke Guest

      Good math I'd like to try to derive myself too!

      Very article Ken was trying to scare us with ends the first paragraph with "The chance of ICU admission for a fully vaccinated person is 33 times lower."

    4. jallan New Member

      @Ken, I don't think the article says what you think it says, and from your comment I'm not sure that you even read it. Right at the top it says "The chance that a fully vaccinated person with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 will be admitted to hospital is 17 times lower than for a non-vaccinated person. The chance of ICU admission for a fully vaccinated person is 33 times lower." That seems like a pretty solid...

      @Ken, I don't think the article says what you think it says, and from your comment I'm not sure that you even read it. Right at the top it says "The chance that a fully vaccinated person with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 will be admitted to hospital is 17 times lower than for a non-vaccinated person. The chance of ICU admission for a fully vaccinated person is 33 times lower." That seems like a pretty solid way of saying that the vaccines work well limiting sickness. Unless you're saying that the vaccines are ineffective because people can still get sick, which is true, but also isn't the way all vaccines work.

    5. jetjock64 Guest

      @Ken - it is really too much to say that a belief in the vaccines working well is "false," as this article also says, "The chance that a fully vaccinated person with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 will be admitted to hospital is 17 times lower than for a non-vaccinated person. The chance of ICU admission for a fully vaccinated person is 33 times lower."

    6. Ken Guest

      I wasn't trying to scare anybody or mislead, you all took my comment in a very wrong way. In relative terms you may say vaccine works well (and we were not discussing how you evaluate the vaccine effectiveness in your scientific community) but I was shocked by the fact that 30% of the ICU is already vaccinated. It might not have surprised you but from the current media many people would be under the impression...

      I wasn't trying to scare anybody or mislead, you all took my comment in a very wrong way. In relative terms you may say vaccine works well (and we were not discussing how you evaluate the vaccine effectiveness in your scientific community) but I was shocked by the fact that 30% of the ICU is already vaccinated. It might not have surprised you but from the current media many people would be under the impression that the vaccine will solve all the issues, including the travel to be back. What is worrying is that the ICU numbers are increasing for the vaccinated due to the delta variant, which I understand was not the case for alpha and beta. From the public policy point, policy makers do not know what variants are circulating in different parts of the world (because it takes time to identify these, and many countries do not even do sequencing) and they might want to keep any future variants from entering the country by restricting travels. it is always a difficult choice for the policy makers but I do feel like people on this blog are biased because the travel is the most affected industry and I know we all want to travel just like before. But the reality is that allowing the virus to enter the country will certainly increase the death from the virus (in comparison to no virus situation). Just the increase in the number of ICU patients can overwhelm the hospitals in many countries and the policy makers certainly take that into account. Now, everything can blame Hong Kong as a communist regime, no freedom, no democracy etc but I think that is a jump in conclusion. While I do not like the fact that I cannot travel as much as I used to, I certainly understand the policy makers dilemma in this and wouldn't immediately attack the regime for their choices. There is certainly a variation in policy response regardless of the regime, and there has been, whereas East Asia being very conservative, and EU and US being divided etc. While I certainly do not think that the zero covid sitaution would solve all the issues, the vaccine just cannot solve the issues either. I meant this way when I said vaccine works well is false. So I see the tradeoff and I see the logic behind strict rules as they want to keep the situation under control until they know what works the best and how the virus evolves etc. What is sad is that many people just disregard how much health sector is suffering and they act recklessly and make silly arguments to justify their actions. In my opinion, havinig a functioning health sector is far more important than having an enjoyable travel sector. Priorities! If the pilots do not like the rules, then change their job.

  9. Andy Guest

    While I understand the rationale of Cathay, they should also take into consideration the legal situation at the destination. In Germany, confining anyone requires a legal basis and an order by the respective authority, in case of quarantine the Gesundheitsamt. An employer has no right to confine employees, actually it would be criminal offence to do so.

    This sheds a different light on the case. Arguably, the employees have broken their employment contract. But Cathay...

    While I understand the rationale of Cathay, they should also take into consideration the legal situation at the destination. In Germany, confining anyone requires a legal basis and an order by the respective authority, in case of quarantine the Gesundheitsamt. An employer has no right to confine employees, actually it would be criminal offence to do so.

    This sheds a different light on the case. Arguably, the employees have broken their employment contract. But Cathay has committed a criminal offence. Which makes the case less straight forward ...

    If Cathay cannot accept the German legislation, they should seize their operation to Germany.

    1. Samo Guest

      This is a good point and I wonder if authorities are going to follow up on this.

  10. asprino Guest

    As a matter of fact, HK does not require 21-day quarantine from everywhere. From Germany, that’s 14-day.

  11. Joe Guest

    "Vaccines work well" no it doesn't. I would like a source that vaccines work. Why do we need boosters if it works well ?

    1. Mike Guest

      To continue the work. They work well… for about 9 months, then need to keep the body’s defenses stimulated.

      The Hepatitis B series is three shots over six months. This isn’t new.

    2. Joel Guest

      I don't think we can post links here, so do a quick Google search on covid hospitalization rates for vaccinated versus unvaccinated. You'll see that the vaccines are very good at keeping people out of hospitals. The vaccinated are less likely to catch it, and if they do, are less likely to get seriously ill and more likely to recover more quickly. The fact that the resistance granted is not permanent is nothing new.

  12. Aaron Guest

    This pretty much sums up what Cathay thinks of the effectiveness of the vaccine. They mandate all employees get the jab, and yet, they still require constant testing and a 21 day quarantine.

  13. TranceXplant New Member

    They didn't get fired for catching COVID-19. They got fired for creating huge costs for the company.

    I don't like HK's rules either. My girlfriend is there and it may take me 5 weeks just to see her (3 weeks in a "Group B" country and then 2 weeks in quarantine). But quarantining that many people is expensive and the airline doesn't control entry requirements.

  14. riku2 Guest

    "I can’t imagine not being able to leave a layover hotel for 20 months"

    I don't think they are in the hotel for 20 months. When would the pilots do any actual flying? Perhaps 20 nights?

  15. DCharlie Guest

    Lots of questions and assumptions, very little evidence and facts. Good to bring the readers, but little value add once here. Of course I don't expect journalistic level of sophistication from this blog, but still don't understand the target audience for these posts except that for click-bait readership.

  16. Pilot Small in the little red airplane. Guest

    Rapunzel, Your value to this company is immense. Without you, the plane doesn't fly, the freight doesn't move, and the cash stops. To ensure our business continues - to ensure we get our wages and benefits, we are going to lock you in your room away from all the vice and disease of the city. Don't come out until we call you. What's that? It's not in your contract!

  17. Eric Guest

    Modern human slavery!

  18. David Vaughan Guest

    To all my ASA brothers there are plenty of flying jobs in the US . don,t be a slave to this . good luck !!

  19. Jerry Gold

    I'm curious how CX was able to complete their investigation. Unless there was a pilot confession, or another member of the crew showing cell phone video, I can't imagine the hotel would have turned camera footage over to a foreign business conducting an internal investigation.

    1. Luke Guest

      unless the pilots were dumb enough to use company supplied phones to make certain contacts or the hotel room phone where the charges were billed to the airline with itemized list of numbers dialed.

      I'd imagine even with their personal phones if its on international roaming from a HK based carrier sim card, CX along with the government may be able to spy on those records too.

    2. Sean M. Guest

      Every crew hotel contract I've signed has specific provisions for the hotel to turn over relevant phone records, CCTV footage, etc.. to the airline in case of an investigation. These are designed to aid accident investigations of course, but I could see that there is sufficient justification for those to be used in a situation like this too.

    3. David Diamond

      @Sean

      The underlying assumption is that Hong Kong still has the rule of law, rather than some grotesque amalgamation of rule by Party allegiance and mob justice. Punishing "rule breaking foreigner pilots" for "harming public safety" is a easy bone to toss to the people to Hong Kong while also appeasing their China overlord.

    4. DenB® Guest

      Such a "contract" would be illegal in many places. I would expect a hotel to obey the law and not turn over cctv from hotel corridors to anyone but law enforcement in their jurisdiction.

    5. Samo Guest

      There is no way hotels in the EU may hand over a footage of their guests to an airline unless there is an actual investigation by the police or other authority. That would be a gross breach of data protection legislation.

    6. Icarus Guest

      Indeed they can’t due to GDPR without permission of the hotel guests.

  20. STEFFL New Member

    i like that line of you Lucky!! (guess, we all think the airline way here . . . WITHOUT saying it!) ;-)
    ....... "or service that involved close contact with one specific person" (by Lucky) ha ha ha

  21. Santastico Guest

    And probably nobody died. Covid has became the BS excuse for everything now. BTW, someone should tell them that Covid will never go away. Learn how to live with it and move on with life.

    1. E. Guest

      Gov't will never allow us to move on. Lockdowns every winter from now on.

      So pilots test positive for a virus with a highly specified, sensitive test made to be sensitive to find lots of cases. Get fired. Hey, why didn't I get fired when I got swine flu? Or Covid in January 2020? Hm.

  22. Daniel from Finlanf Guest

    That's what you get for ordering a prostitute to your room.

  23. SN Guest

    Am I the only one a bit uncomfortable with a 29 year old flying 400+ people on a 747??
    I’m sure he has the hours…. But still, just throws me off

    1. Sean M. Guest

      Cathay only operates 747 freighters.

    2. JB Guest

      And I'm sure he was the co-pilot on the 747 freighter

    3. Samo Guest

      Why? If he received proper training, I don't see any problem with that.

  24. Luke Guest

    With the acute global pilot shortage, I'm sure plenty of airlines around world will welcome these folks with open arms. The US Airlines United/AA/Delta can sure take them on too.

  25. Icarus Guest

    It’s entirely incorrect to headline they were fired as a result of having Covid

  26. Bob Guest

    "an activity or service that involved close contact with one specific person"

    Yep, I think you've nailed it there, Ben. Plenty of opportunity for "an activity or service that involves close contact with one specific person" in Germany, and you don't have to leave your hotel room for it either.

  27. George Guest

    Whilst I do not know what the exact "crime" of these pilots was, I can put a pin in that "meeting one single person or activity" theory:
    The Hong Kong health authorities revealed last week that the 2 first pilots had caught similar, but not identical strains of the virus.

  28. asprino Guest

    Lucky, your title is misleading at best. They are fired because they breached the rules, which you may disagree with, but definitely not because they got COVID

    1. Trey Guest

      true..but if they hadn't gotten COVID, there'd be no inquiry and they'd probably still be working for the airline.

  29. Ken Guest

    As someone who went through 21 days quarantine by myself and as someone who saw through how Asian countries handled it over the last two years, I still support the 21 days quarantine rule *if* the country has no covid. The social cost of dealing with covid is a lot higher and people will die (yeah you are gonna say it's common cold blah blah but the reality is that covid will increase the death...

    As someone who went through 21 days quarantine by myself and as someone who saw through how Asian countries handled it over the last two years, I still support the 21 days quarantine rule *if* the country has no covid. The social cost of dealing with covid is a lot higher and people will die (yeah you are gonna say it's common cold blah blah but the reality is that covid will increase the death rate and burden the hospital compared to no covid situation.) Of course this is a travel blog so I think the readers are biased because covid is restricting our travel so it is annoying and I get it but as someone who has two doctors in my family working in the front line dealing with the covid situation, I really wish we had a zero covid environment. The fear that you might lose your loved ones is always there and I can tell you with certainty that the covid is no common cold from how patients react in hospital. It's quite unpredictable and it seems like any pre-existing conditions will be at high risk.
    Many, including myself, thought the vaccine will be a game changer and still some people think that way but the reality is that the new variants will evade the vaccine protection and the recent data from Netherlands is quite troubling: 40% of the hospitalized is vaccinated.
    In any case, these countries can do whatever they want, leave them alone without your judgement. The politicians in the west mostly screwed up the covid since last year. If the west listened to Italians early on and implemented similar policy like China: zero covid policy, maybe we would have been in a better place now. Who knows. China is having fun now, except they cannot travel internationally but hey people could enjoy life without international travel before, we should also learn to embrace what can be done without travels. I think if you ask someone in zero covid country if they should open up the travel, the majority will say no. Of course the responses from the people with covid filled life and it became a normal thing, your response would be different. But who are to judge their policy based on your own situation?

    1. Peking Duck Guest

      Hi Ken. I live in Hong Kong and also went through quarantine here. I'm judging based on my own first hand knowledge on the ground here. And my judgement? The government has completely lost the plot and and their handling of the situation has become a total cluster f***.

    2. Lasdiner Guest

      Bollocks
      I am a doctor. You don’t blame nor fire people for getting a respiratory virus, nor it makes sense to restrict their life or freedom. Thank God the rest of the world is NOT Chin (because thats what Hk is now).
      You make vaccination mandatory.
      But lets stop deluding ourselves about the zero covid. Nations, cities, even buildings are not sterile boxes.
      I am also Italian. Thanks God the West...

      Bollocks
      I am a doctor. You don’t blame nor fire people for getting a respiratory virus, nor it makes sense to restrict their life or freedom. Thank God the rest of the world is NOT Chin (because thats what Hk is now).
      You make vaccination mandatory.
      But lets stop deluding ourselves about the zero covid. Nations, cities, even buildings are not sterile boxes.
      I am also Italian. Thanks God the West did not listen to Italy. Italians are masters in writing absurd, inapplicable rules.
      Italy still has the highest lethality rate among so-called first world countries. Hospitals can become overwhelmed? build more infrastructure
      Its easy to create more rules and quarantines every other week without really planning for the future. Haven’t seen much discussion on that but only on restrictions, restrictions, restrictions

    3. E. Guest

      The social cost of dealing with lockdowns and isolating human beings is far far worse than the virus.

      Never leave your house then if you are afraid. We have lots of viruses out there. They could all get you!

      Getting sick or testing positive at this point which is not even being sick or infectious is no moral crusade. Getting sick is life. The tests are being used to keep this farce going forever. It works great.

    4. Ken Guest

      if zero covid, then you don't need to do lockdown or isolate. You operate normally inside the country. Just like how china is enjoying itself now. So there is no socila cost of lockdown anymore.

  30. D3kingg Guest

    Hong Kong is China

    1. BBK New Member

      It's absolutely not and any real Hongkonger will disagree with you (save a couple of commie boot lickers or useful id.. , not many of those there). Another flag, another currency, absolutely different modus vivendi. I can even visit Hong Kong without a visa, not China. And there's a border control to go from HK to China. Sadly China is trying to make HK China, that I can agree.

  31. Miamigeorge Gold

    Really a shame. When is society going to realize that COVID isn't ever going to go away, there's no 100% prevention (same as the common cold-another Corona Virus) and that for 99%+ of the population it doesn't require hospitalization and certainly won't result in death.

    Could you imagine the uproar if these pilots had been fired because they caught the common cold or even the flu?

    1. Rob Guest

      99%+? Spread your anti-vaxx theories elsewhere.

    2. Dan77W Guest

      Nothing he said was anti-vax. You can be pro-vax as I am and still accept that a vast vast majority, over 90% of people with COVID will never see a hospital or have lingering symptoms.

    3. Mike Guest

      85%. 85% is the number you’re looking for. 15% get hospitalized, roughly broken down into 1/3rd in general care, and 2/3rds in ICU care. Of that 2/3rds, about 1/3 of those die.

      The others that die are non-COVID folks who can’t get an ICU bed when they fill up with preventable COVID cases.

  32. Hans Guest

    This is why we oppose mandates. Because they get worse and worse over time with no end in sight.

    Show me one example of the government giving back rights to the people? Hasn't occurred.

    I still remember being called a conspiracy theorist when I said a zero covid policy doesn't make sense. Those who argued about "public safety" made it look like I was an idiot.

    Glad to see people joining the whole...

    This is why we oppose mandates. Because they get worse and worse over time with no end in sight.

    Show me one example of the government giving back rights to the people? Hasn't occurred.

    I still remember being called a conspiracy theorist when I said a zero covid policy doesn't make sense. Those who argued about "public safety" made it look like I was an idiot.

    Glad to see people joining the whole "zero covid is not a good policy" side.

    And Hong Kong will slowly fade away, once everyone realizes it's goals don't align with the rest of the world.

    Hopefully these CX pilots find jobs at Fedex or UPS in the states or Germany.

    1. anon Guest

      Germany , with its autobahns, knows first hand that speed mandates lead to tyranny. The US in particular uses the guise of speed mandates to execute traffic stops , in order to search and harass.

  33. Fatty380 Guest

    Lol at those Asian countries’ obsession on zero Covid fantasy. With vaccinations everywhere, etc. it’s insane to impose 21 day quarantine with complete overreaction. Singapore even gave up and start VTL and their prime minister say we have to move forward and live with Covid.

  34. Never In Doubt Guest

    “ an activity or service that involved close contact with one specific person”

    Is that what you kids are calling it these days?

  35. Endre Guest

    Probably one of the eastern-european hookers at the bar was asymptomatic

  36. Jumpseatflyer Guest

    Fair or not, I feel like the regulations in HK are really getting out of hand to the point that it's becoming ridiculous and even dangerous. Pilots are also human beings and flying a plane is actual work, so time off should be actual time off. The hundreds of nose swabs and hours of isolation are taking a toll on everyone. And as if the general psychological strain and fear that comes with the current...

    Fair or not, I feel like the regulations in HK are really getting out of hand to the point that it's becoming ridiculous and even dangerous. Pilots are also human beings and flying a plane is actual work, so time off should be actual time off. The hundreds of nose swabs and hours of isolation are taking a toll on everyone. And as if the general psychological strain and fear that comes with the current job situation would not be enough, pilots are now often working close to operationally legal limits. The whole thing is a heavy stress on the entire system.
    Everyone needs to finally learn to live with this virus instead of keeping up this never ending dystopian theater.

  37. Tony Guest

    Oh…Hong Kong. How we will miss what you once were before you were besieged by China. Unfortunately these pilots clearly did the wrong thing (by HK standards), but it makes one wonder how long people can live under the deluded insanity of Chinese rule. No one with any sense of intellectual capacity can live like this for a sustained period. It’s a shame to see HK deteriorate so quickly. I’ll always miss it but will never return.

    1. anon Guest

      Did HK act any differently during SARS in 2003?

    2. WW Guest

      Yes..Tony, totally agree. HKG is no longer 'Asia's World City'. So sad.

    3. Ray Guest

      Somehow I struggle finding China at fault here. I don’t want pilots that can’t follow protocol and the lie about it. What else do they lie about? Where is the line? In essence they blamed the hotel. It wouldn’t bother me if China imprisoned them.

  38. James Soutar Guest

    At the root of the problem is that it has become a crime or a failure of society to catch or spread a respiratory virus. I think that mentality is completely wrong and has to change. Respiratory viruses have been a part of human life since the dawn of time and will be with is until the end of days. It is our mentality that is warped and needs to change.

    1. Biz Traveler Guest

      Yup this. Maybe if we would all embrace the fact that natural immunity is a thing, we could go back to normal.

    2. COLUMBUS TRAVELER Guest

      Not for all diseases.
      For COVID, everyone hits a brick wall. The difference is that the vaccinated hit the wall with less velocity and with an airbag while being able to watch the view along the way.
      The unvaxxed and "natural immunity" folks won't have those amenities.
      Take your pick!

    3. Samo Guest

      Amen. I have no idea how long do people in some countries plan to live like this. I'm lucky enough to be able to temporarily relocate to a more pragmatic country but it must be terrible for those who are stuck in places with draconian policies.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Sean M. Guest

Every crew hotel contract I've signed has specific provisions for the hotel to turn over relevant phone records, CCTV footage, etc.. to the airline in case of an investigation. These are designed to aid accident investigations of course, but I could see that there is sufficient justification for those to be used in a situation like this too.

5
Rob Guest

99%+? Spread your anti-vaxx theories elsewhere.

5
Jumpseatflyer Guest

Fair or not, I feel like the regulations in HK are really getting out of hand to the point that it's becoming ridiculous and even dangerous. Pilots are also human beings and flying a plane is actual work, so time off should be actual time off. The hundreds of nose swabs and hours of isolation are taking a toll on everyone. And as if the general psychological strain and fear that comes with the current job situation would not be enough, pilots are now often working close to operationally legal limits. The whole thing is a heavy stress on the entire system. Everyone needs to finally learn to live with this virus instead of keeping up this never ending dystopian theater.

3
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