Two passengers have been removed from a flight and detained by police after throwing coins into a plane in east China for good luck and a safe flight.
As a result of their actions, flight 8L9616 from Jinan, Shandong province to Chengdu, Sichuan, was delayed for two hours, according to Chinese media. This also affected a total of 260 passengers on board – who I can imagine were none too impressed.
The two passengers, who witnesses say were in their 20s and female, were removed from the Lucky Air flight after admitting to throwing a 1 yuan coin as they were boarding the plane on Sunday night at Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport.
A Lucky Air spokesperson told Beijing News the superstitious passengers had been wishing for a safe journey when they tossed the coins through the narrow gap between the jet bridge and the plane.
A staff member spotted them and quickly alerting police at the airport, who detained them after coins were found on the ground during the pre-flight check.
A witness who was also supposed to be travelling on the same flight told video news site Pear that two uniformed officers removed two women from the plane following an announcement about the incident.
“All the other passengers were speechless,” she said. “We didn’t think something like this could actually happen.”
The woman added: “They looked like they were in their mid-20s.“
It is not clear whether the women were travelling together.
The Lucky Air spokesperson explained that in the end the pilot decided to go ahead with the flight, as the coins had been found some distance from the engine – with the flight taking off at 10.02pm local time, arriving at Chengdu safely, but two hours late.
Ouyang Jie, a professor at Civil Aviation University of China, told China Daily in a previous report that the engine of an aircraft would be severely damaged or even destroyed by something as seemingly harmless as a coin.
The professor said: “The engine could tremble, lose speed and even stop in mid-air if a coin were sucked into its core. That would put all the passengers on board at great risk.”
Ouyang Jie was in fact referring to another similar incident, which took place recently.
Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported that a Chinese man was being sued by Lucky Air for lobbing two coins at a plane when he was travelling with his wife and one-year-old child.
According to MailOnline, flight 8L9960 from Anqing, Anhui province to Kunming, Yunnan was grounded for security reasons and eventually cancelled, affecting 162 passengers – and costing the airline nearly 140,000 yuan (£15,800/$20,900).
The 28-year-old man, identified by his surname Lu, has admitted to chucking the coins while boarding on the tarmac as he was hoping for a safe journey.
He ended up getting detained by authorities for a week after the coins were found on the ground near the engine as the pre-flight check took place.
In a statement, Lucky Air said: “The incident caused a direct economic loss of nearly 140,000 yuan, and our company will press charges against the passenger in accordance with the law.”
Maybe Lucky Air should rebrand to Stop Throwing Coins Into Our Planes Air – but basically the advice here is don’t go throwing coins into plane engines, yeah?