China—A first-time flier threw coins at an airplane during boarding wishing for safe travel. Instead his act cost him a lawsuit and and fine amounting to 120,000 yuan (S$23,220).
Lu Chao (28) admitted to throwing coins at the Lucky Air plane last Feb 17, 2019.
Airline staff discovered two coins near the plane engines. The Lucky Air flight 8L9960 from Anqing to Kunming, Yunnan province was cancelled, as staff inspected the engine.
Some 161 passengers were told to leave the plane, and the airline had to provide accommodation and re-book flights for the affected passengers.
According to a report by the South China Morning Post, the airline lost more than 123,000 yuan (S$23,800) because of Lu’s superstitious act.
Lucky Air filed a lawsuit against Lu who was detained by police for “disturbing public order.”
In his defence, Lu said that Lucky Air should have warned passengers not to throw coins at the plane. He said he had no way to pay for the maintenance costs which were “too high.”
While Lu still had to fully compensate Lucky Air for the losses, court documents showed that the court costs were cut in half to 459 (S$88) yuan instead.
Throwing coins at planes is unfortunately a common practice in China and symbolises “good luck.” There have been several incidents in which unknowing passengers threw a lucky coin at the engine, much to the dismay of stranded passengers./TISG