VietJetAir passenger banned from flying for using cell phone

By Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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Passengers take off a VietJetAir flight at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport. Photo: Minh Hung Passengers take off a VietJetAir flight at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport. Photo: Minh Hung

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A Vietnamese woman who was found making phone calls aboard a VietJetAir flight last month has been banned from flying, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
The four month ban is being enforced against Mai Thi Minh Ha, 56, of Thanh Hoa Province, who took the flight VJ8666 from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on August 12, Nguyen Trong Thang, chief aviation inspector, said.
According to investigation, Ha used her mobile phone despite the cabin crew had issued a warning against using phone before the flight.
The case was reported to the Northern Airports Authority, which then decided to fine her VND4 million (US$188).
After Ha refused to pay the fine, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam issued the flying ban against her.
“Refusing to pay a fine in aviation can lead to a flying ban under relevant regulations by the transport ministry,” Thang said.
Thang said the ban, from September 28, 2014 to January 28, 2015, has been informed to all flight ticket agents nationwide.
He said it was not the first time a passenger was fined for using mobile phone on a plane despite frequent warnings.
“Some people are aware of the ban but keep using phone secretly,” he said.
Using electronic devices can disturb the plane’s radio communication, threatening flight safety, he said.
In related news, Vietnam Airlines has required strict security checks against three passengers for their jokes that affected flight safety.
The enforcement will be applied for a year against Le The Do, 74, and Nguyen Huu Lien, 42, of Hanoi’s Tay Ho District and Le Van Hoa, 38, of Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District. These passengers had joked that their was bomb/weapon in their luggage while checking up for Vietnam Airlines flights, the company said.

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