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AirAsia CEO rushes to Thailand after flight attendant demanded to prostrate to autistic passenger

Coconuts logo Coconuts 9/9/2016
Photo: Wikipedia © Coconuts Media Photo: Wikipedia

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes had a meeting with staff in Bangkok yesterday following the scandal involving a flight attendant, a demanding mother and her autistic daughter.

In a scandal that blew up on Pantip forum, a Thai flight attendant was accused of insulting the family of the autistic woman after she inquired if they needed help by asking "Is she [the autistic passenger] okay?"

The mother of the autistic woman became irate. After that, she filed a complaint with AirAsia's office in Bangkok.

After arriving at their office, she demanded that the flight attendant to fall to the ground and prostrate to her autistic daughter.

In Thai culture, prostration is only done to a religious figure or a highly respected person such as one’s parents or senior relatives.

Photo: Kanlayamilk

The flight attendant, whose identity was withheld, prostated to the passenger, in tears.

The scandal has enraged Thai netizens as they left comments against AirAsia's management for their poor handling of the situation.Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, sent out a statement to the Thai press yesterday that he felt sorry for what happened and that event was "emotional" for everyone involved.

He denied that the flight attendant was forced to fall to the ground against her will.

"I insist that the management did not force the flight attendant to prostrate to the passenger. It was a situation that everyone wanted to be over,” the statement said.AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes posted on Facebook yesterday that the investigation will be done, and he will fly to the flight attendant’s hometown in Hat Yai to meet with her parents today. 

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