Company director fined for racist outburst in British Airways lounge at Heathrow

Markku Tynkkynen has admitted being racially harassed after telling passenger Jain Wu that ‘the Chinese are arrogant’ and was fined over £2,000

Markku Tynkkynen pictured leaving Uxbridge Magistrates

A Finnish businessman told another passenger to ‘go back to his country’ in a British Airways lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Markku Tynkkynen, 69, admitted to being racially harassed after telling passenger Jain Wu that ‘the Chinese are arrogant’ and was fined a total of £2,189.

When confronted by the salon manager, he repeated the comments and was quickly arrested and put in a cell for the night.

The director of the paper company, from Helsinki, admitted to harassing Jain Wu at Heathrow Airport on November 11 last year.

Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court heard Tynkkynen was “upset” because Mr Wu was sitting in his seat.

Prosecutor Melania Drozdowska said: “On November 11, 2021 at around 4 p.m., the victim, Mr Wu, was sitting in the British Airways business lounge in Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport waiting for his flight to Barcelona.







People arrive at Heathrow Terminal 5 in West London
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Picture:

AFP via Getty Images)


“He said he needed to charge his phone and went to sit in an area where there were charging stations. He sat there for half an hour and checked his emails.”

The court heard that he was approached by Tynkkynen who told him, “You must be Chinese, so arrogant. Why are you sitting here? There are so many seats, why are you sitting here?”

Ms Drozdowska said: “He looked up from his computer and couldn’t believe what he heard. He said he didn’t answer anything and was completely in shock.

“The defendant sat opposite and said ‘you should go home to your own country and learn some manners’.

“The accused then got up and moved to another seating area. The victim then got up and spoke to a British Airways duty manager and reported the incident.”

It was said that the manager then spoke to Tynkkynen about the “unacceptable” language used.







Markku Tynkkynen was fined £1,713 and court costs totaling £276. He was also ordered to pay the victim £200 compensation.
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Picture:

©Stan Kujawa)


Tynkkynen told him he had been sitting in the living room but had gone shopping and left his things near the seat – but when he returned Mr Wu was sitting in his chair.

The prosecutor said he spoke to the defendant and explained that it was unacceptable to make racist comments, but that the defendant used racist language.

The court heard police arrive and arrest Tynkkynen and he spent the night in a police cell.

Tynkkynen admitted making the comments to Mr Wu, but denied calling it a racist term at the British Airways service manager.

The magistrates decided that making a racial slur about someone if they were not within earshot would not affect the conviction and therefore a trial would not be necessary.

Prosecutors said Mr. Wu was also briefed and accepted the basis of Tynkkynen’s plea.

According to Helsinki-based consultancy Visionhunters, Tynkkynen is a partner and executive vice president.

Tynkkynen was fined £1,713 and court costs totaling £276. He was also ordered to pay the victim £200 compensation.

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