Relatives of the missing passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were told to go home and airline officials also announced that they are closing the family assistance centers that were set up shortly after the plane disappeared on March 8. A report from the BBC today explained that the announcement devastated MH370 relatives because it means that they must move out of hotels provided to them and return home to wait for updates regarding the search for the aircraft.
"Instead of staying in hotels, the families of MH370 are advised to receive information updates on the progress of the search and investigation and other support by Malaysia Airlines within the comfort of their own homes, with the support and care of their families and friends," a news release from the airline said. KCCI 8 Des Moines says the news sparked a new wave of anguish and despair for the hundreds who heard it at Beijing's Lido Hotel.
Two thirds of the 239 people aboard the flight were of Chinese nationality. Their families have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress in the search operation at the international level, the most expensive in the history of aviation. Those affected have complained of "secrecy and incompetence" of the Malaysian government on this issue and accuse them of "lies and broken promises."
That frustration reached its limit late on Thursday of last week when more than 200 MH370 relatives retained ten staff members of Malaysia Airlines after a briefing at a hotel in Beijing and did not release them until the early hours of Friday, according to a report from Reuters.
"Malaysia Airlines confirms that its staff were held at the Lido Hotel ballroom in Beijing by the family members of MH370 as the families expressed dissatisfaction in obtaining details of the missing aircraft," the airline said in a statement. The hotel where families have been residing for over a month and a half has been the scene of increasingly tense confrontations between MH370 relatives and the airline.