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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Le Quyen Fined for Onboard Peeing Incident

(image courtesy VietOneRadio)
Pop star Le Quyen recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons, and now Vietnamese authorities are holding her accountable.

VNAFlyer was the first English-language source to report an incident where Le allegedly allowed her young son to urinate in an airsickness bag while flying onboard Vietnam Airlines' newly-delivered Airbus A350.

(Heck, the UK's Daily Mail even felt free to plagiarize my translation of an image caption that broke the story and other big chunks from my previous entry.)

I'm guessing the government of Vietnam was none too pleased with Le shining such a negative light onto Vietnamese culture, and it has been reported by the BBC's Vietnam post that she and her husband/manager have both been fined 4 million VND (approx. 183 USD) each by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) for "violating discipline and order" on board the flight.

Considering that she has been recognized as one of the wealthiest entertainers in Vietnam, the fine seems a little anemic.

The CAAV has been cited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as having inadequate oversight over civil aviation, including the lack of ability to impose substantial fines.

For instance, a recent incident involving a passenger smoking in-flight lead to a $183 fine to the offender. While the CAAV has the authority to impose up to a 5-million VND (229 USD) fine for such infractions, it pales in comparison to the FAA's fine of up to 5,000 USD (over 100 million VND).

A $183 fine imposed against Le is probably more symbolic than punitive or even preventative.  The social media backlash, however, may never end.


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