BEIJING – Air travel can be stressful these days, and missing a flight gut-wrenching and, sometimes, even rage-inducing.
As the Chinese New Year national holidays were winding down Feb. 19, one Chinese official, traveling with his family, missed his flight and unleashed a tantrum reaching dramatic heights.
Luckily for us, and unluckily for him, it was all caught on airport security cameras.
The individual since identified as Yan Linkun, an executive at a Chinese mining company and a member of a top government advisory body in the southwestern province of Yunnan, missed boarding his flight at Kunming Changshui International Airport while he and his family were grabbing some breakfast and were pleading with the gate agent to let them board.
To make matters worse, this was the second flight the family had missed that day.
Video starts out calmly enough showing Yan by the gate counter with his wife and his twin sons while the agent appears to help them find a solution.
The security video has no audio, giving the whole incident a silent film-like quality, complete with exaggerated theatrical gestures and dramatic posturing.
What follows has since spread worldwide via the Internet.
The first flash of anger actually appears to be from Yan’s wife after a gate-security guard appears to chide Yan for pushing against the sliding glass doors leading to the Jetway. She gets up in the security guard’s face, at which point the gate agent appears to have said something that kicks open Yan’s gates of rage.
His wife, seemingly cognizant of what was about to transpire, moves her boys out of the way.
With one rip of the keyboard, Yan proceeds to violently redecorate the boarding gate area. The tantrum crescendos as Yan uses a metal notice stand to smash the glass doors. Failing miserably, he unleashes the remainder of his rage on the gate counter itself.
Always loving a good train wreck, crowds begin to gather around watching the commotion. One woman even squeezes her way past the wreckage, between the raging Yan’s to prop herself in a front-row seat for the trashing.
Never mind that there were three security guards who merely stood by and stared at Yan as he defiled the gate area. Yan finally appears to calm down when a fellow passenger, a bystander, intervenes.
Like Bruce Banner in the wake of a Hulk episode, Yan quickly replaced rage with regret.
“I failed to be a qualified political adviser, as well as a good father,” Yan told the Shanghai Daily in an interview.
Yan said he became angry because he was in rush to send his sons back to school after the holidays.
He also issued an apology to the airport, saying, “My irrational actions and rudeness have caused some losses to the airport as well as bad effects to the public, so I sincerely apologize to the airport and public. I am willing to compensate.”
Yan has since been suspended by his employer and the top local government advisory body, of which he is a member, signaled that it expects to dole out further punishment.
Meanwhile, the airport police are still investigating the incident to determine whether Yan will face criminal charges.