Distraught relatives of passengers who were aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines jet wailed behind closed doors at a Beijing hotel on Friday.
The friends and family were shuttled to the hotel and sequestered after hours of frustration and desperation at Beijing' airport, where they had expected the flight to land.
"I got here at seven (a.m.). At first I thought the plane was just delayed as normal, so I came a bit later, I've just been waiting and waiting,” Chang Ken Fei, a Malaysian, told Reuters at the airport.
"I asked them what was going on but they just tell us 'we don't know.'"
The airline said 239 people aboard – 227 passengers and 12 crew – were aboard the Boeing 777-200. A majority of the passengers were Chinese.
Their loved ones complained about the lack of information in the hours after the plane vanished off radar after its departure from Kuala Lumpur.
Chuang Ken Fei told China's official Xinhua news agency that he waited for two friends in the Terminal 3 for over 3 hours.
"Staff at the airport told me the flight did not take off, but I can see from my mobile application that the aircraft was in the air," Chuang said.
Later, authorities in Beijing directed relatives to the hotel about nine miles away to await official announcements about the fate of the flight.
One woman wept on the shuttle bus while talking on her cellphone.
"They want us to go to the hotel. It cannot be good!" she told the person on the other end of the line, according to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, passengers were seen taking pictures of the airport’s arrivals board which listed the missing flight in red with the update: “Delayed.”
CNBC's Eunice Yoon contributed to this report.
KIM KYUNG-HOON / Reuters
A man takes pictures of a flight information board displaying the Scheduled Time of Arrival (STA) of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (top, in red) at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, March 8, 2014.
First published March 7 2014, 7:09 PM