Thursday 8 December 2016

Woman gets 'rockstar' treatment as sole plane passenger

Millions of people are heading home for Chinese New Year, the country's biggest migration period, causing travel chaos

James Rothwell

Published 03/02/2016 | 12:40

A Chinese woman surnamed Zhang posing for photos on an empty flight from Wuhan to Guangzhou, after the China Southern flight was delayed for 10 hours. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A Chinese woman surnamed Zhang posing for photos on an empty flight from Wuhan to Guangzhou, after the China Southern flight was delayed for 10 hours. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
A Chinese woman surnamed Zhang taking photos with her mobile phone on an empty flight from Wuhan to Guangzhou, after the China Southern flight was delayed for 10 hours. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

With its legions of bossy flight attendants, screaming babies and unruly passengers, flying is often a torturous experience.

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But in China one lucky woman enjoyed a "rockstar" moment after being the only passenger to turn up for a China Southern Airlines flight from Wutan to Guangzhou.

The woman, named by the BBC as Ms Zhang, is among millions of people rushing home for Chinese New Year, the country's biggest migration period.

The mass exodus has caused travel chaos in the country, with tens of thousands stranded at Guangzhou airport this week due to snow delays.

But Ms Zhang decided to steer clear of the country's rail network, risking a flight instead - and the gamble seems to have paid off.

Everyone else scheduled to take the same flight had swapped for an earlier one due to chronic delays, making her the sole passenger onboard.

It meant that Ms Zhang enjoyed one-to-one service from air hostesses, and at one stage was paid a visit by the pilot.

"I felt so happy, it was a rare life experience for me and it was new. I felt like a rockstar," she told the BBC.

She has written about her "happy" experience on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

Many of her followers were delighted and dubbed her the "world's luckiest passenger" as one commentator wrote: ""What a great way to fly, you are indeed very lucky to experience such hospitality especially at such a chaotic travelling period."

"Sister, you are clearly the world's luckiest passenger - cherish it," another admirer wrote.

But not everyone was pleased with Ms Zhang, who by opting for a flight avoided chronic rail delays in China during the New Year rush which tens of thousands stranded at Guangzhou airport.

"Given the Chinese New Year timing when thousands of people are getting crushed while just trying to go home, isn't this wasteful?" one bemused Weibo user wrote.

It was estimated the flight would have cost Mz Zhang around £120.

Telegraph.co.uk

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