Talking Points: should you have to pay a fine for delaying a flight due to non-health-related reasons?

Talking Points: should you have to pay a fine for delaying a flight due to non-health-related reasons?

Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

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Delays can put a damper on any holiday. Should we impose a fine for latecomers?
Photo: K.Y. Cheng/SCMP

Danby Leung, 16, SKH Leung Kwai Yee Secondary School

Sure! People should never be late for a flight, because it’s very inconvenient for other passengers.

I think the fine should go up for every second they make the others wait. They should be made to pay HK$10 per second – or possibly even more. Airlines could use the money to offer the passengers meals and refreshments, or alternative flights. If they knew they’d get something out of it, they wouldn’t be as grumpy about a flight delay.

Still, it would be great if there were no latecomers because no one wants to pay for others’ mistakes!


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Tahira Khan,15, Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

It’s a good idea. Other passengers may not be able to attend important events or meetings simply because one person failed to get to the airport on time.

Being delayed means people on strict schedules will have their whole trip messed up – for example, they might miss a connecting flight, or have to cancel a hotel booking. What if they were part of a tour group, and they cannot catch a flight to their destination? Their whole holiday might have to be cancelled and they could lose a lot of money. Such people deserve to be compensated.


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Jennifer Lau Wing-yan, 16, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Definitely. More than 1,000 flights leave Hong Kong’s airport every day, and each one is at risk of being delayed by someone who isn’t on time. Imagine if all the flights were delayed – that would bring the airport to a standstill. Passengers are responsible for making sure they’re on time for their flights. A fine for latecomers would motivate them to arrive at the airport early. Being late means you’re wasting other people’s time, so the “extra cash” can be used to compensate them.

I think HK$1,500 is a reasonable penalty for a short trip. For a long trip, I think the fine should be HK$3,000. Sure, a small mistake might have led to the delay, but the person responsible should still pay up.


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Wong Leong-tin, 11, St Francis of Assisi’s English Primary School

Yes, I think a fine is very reasonable. A recent survey conducted by travel website Holiday Extras revealed that more than a third of holidaymakers think those who are late boarding a plane should be punished for making others wait. More than one in 10 said they had zero tolerance for poor timekeepers, and thought that latecomers should have to pay some kind of fine. Eleven per cent thought they should be barred from the flight entirely.

Most people expect their fellow passengers to have good time management. I think airlines should impose a heavy fine for latecomers. That would teach them a lesson, and encourage them to be on time in future.


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Michael Kwok Pui-hin, 16, Law Ting Pong Secondary School

I think it would be a great move, especially if I were a passenger waiting for someone else who is very late for their flight. Why should everyone wait for just one person before the plane can take off?

Being able to manage your time is super important, especially when you’re travelling. If people knew they’d have to pay a fine, then they would think about arriving at the airport three hours before their flight leaves.

If everyone is on time, there would be no delays, and everything would run more smoothy.


In our next Talking Points, we'll discuss:

Should the government spend HK$32 billion on a sports park when one in five people are living below the poverty line?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to yp@scmp.com by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by Ginny Wong

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Should you have to pay a fine for delaying a flight due to non-health-related reasons?

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