Chinese tourists getting lost cause severe delay at Naha Airport

Three Chinese women en route from Ishigaki to Haneda Airport in Tokyo got lost and entered by mistake to the baggage claim area on the first floor of the airport where transit passengers are not allowed to enter, in the afternoon of Mar. 9th.

Their wandering forced the airport authorities to close the whole airport for over an hour, during which all passengers who were inside the departure areas had to return outside and go again through the security check.

Because of the incident, at least five flights were canceled and 25 flights were delayed, affecting 6,200 passengers.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Naha Airport Office and the Tomigusuku Police, the three Chinese women arrived at Naha Airport from Ishigaki Island at around 4:15 pm. Before the transiting to their flight to Haneda, they wanted to stop by a duty free store on the second floor of the airport that is on the same floor where they disembarked from their flight. However, they got lost and entered, by mistake, into the baggage claim area on the first floor, which is off-limits for transit passengers.

When the women returned to the boarding area from the baggage claim, security guards failed to stop them.  When that happens, the regulations state that all passengers already inside the departure lounges have to return to re-check through the security.

Because of this incident, in which the concerned passengers were foreigners, airport officials are studying how to improve the sings written in foreign languages guiding the passenger flow in the airport.