H1N1 and Cathay Pacific: How TWN's "govt" works

When you fly to Taiwan, say as part of a number of flights you are taking around Asia, you will be surprised to note the level of rigour applied to the checking of your visa, return/onward flights, and so on. Even to the point, in my experience, where the British wife of a British ARC-holder will be barred from flight because although she has a visa, she does not have an onward ticket. You will contrast this with the treatment you receive in Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand, on your recent trips there. Cathay Pacific senior management in Taipei will tell you in a face-to-face meeting, quite candidly, after you complain, that the Taiwanese government has told them that if they bring in passengers who are refused entry, not only will the airline be fined, but they will lose slots at Mickey Mouse Airport, in Taoyuan. You are shocked at this outsourcing by Taiwanese immigration, placing the document review burden on a commercial airline, who, for example, didn’t know about the new regs for UK citizens allowing them 6-month visitor visas. But you shrug, because you know a lot of countries do this as well (the Two Wrongs Make a Right theory of reciprocity).

Then you notice Cathay are flying a lot of Swine Flu cases into Taiwan. (Swine Flu now being called “New Flu” at the request of the surprisingly powerful pig farmers’ lobby!) And you think “Wow, if only Taiwan had a government, they could order CX to screen people in HK before they get on the planes!”

But alas, Taiwan doesn’t have a government, as we all know, and the xenophobic twats who attend to national administrative matters in the spare time left to them after they have finished a hard day’s embezzlement of public funds, content themselves with dreaming up new ways to make the lives of expats more difficult (remember credit cards, mobile phones, 6-year driving licences, normal income tax treatment?) instead of doing something simple and truly useful for the people who live on this island.

The Taiwanese “government” at work. You couldn’t make it up. :unamused:

Make a point of sneezing on your travel documents before handing them to Cathay people. The brighter the green, the more points you win!


One has to remember that, if pushed a little bit, the health minister, will start to cry like a little boy.

And it is not only CX that has some draconian attitude, but all the airlines do it… no valid re-entry visa, no ticket issue…

As for the piggy flu, I agree that they should do screaning inside the airport, even for passengers who are in transit. They could simply put thermal scanners in the gates to monitor people, but I guess that would be pretty expensive… but they could, at least, put them in the area where you pass security check for transit passengers.

Actually, it’s not just Cathay. I was very nearly refused a connection on a Singapore Airlines flight while transiting in Singapore on my way back to Taiwan. Fortunately I had some old receipt for a booking that they mercifully accepted.


It’s not that Cathay want to do this, and yes all the other airlines flying to Taiwan do it too. It’s that the Taiwanese “government” threatens them with a good keel-hauling if they don’t. If the Taiwanese “government” can do this, why can’t they force the airlines to check pax for flu symptoms before boarding?

Cathay are a more important target because they handle umpteen global connections to Taiwan via HK.

When I flew Cathay to Taiwan via HK a few weeks ago (after the outbreak of the disease), they gave us forms to fill out regarding the disease and checked us on arrival (heat sensors, brief questioning).

Then on arrival in Taiwan, there were no forms to fill out, but there were, again, heat sensors. What amused me what that there was a sign saying something like “If you feel any of the following symptoms–XXXXX, YYYYY, ZZZZZ-- then please report to quarantine.” A sign like that would pretty much ensure that anyone who is feeling these symptoms would not tell anyone, for fear of being quarantined!! You tell people to report for a brief, free medical check, and you don’t mention the word “quarantine” for christsakes!

They can also force EVA and China Airlines to check people before bording from US, Japan, etc…

This is a white thing right? Cuz I never have this problem.

What, they never asked you for your ARC when you fly out of Taiwan?

No, they only check the Beautiful People.