ow-cost Chinese carrier Lucky Air may actually need to start considering a name change after yet another one of its flights was delayed by a pair of passengers throwing coins for “good luck” before boarding.
The flight from Jinan to Chengdu was scheduled to take off at 8 pm on Sunday but was instead delayed by two hours after two female passengers were spotted chucking coins off the air bridge before getting on the plane, according to a Beijing News report.
When confronted, the women, both in their mid-twenties, admitted to having tossed a one yuan coin each in order to pray for a safe flight.
Security workers soon discovered the two coins underneath the bridge. But, after determining that the gap between the bridge and the plane was too far from the engine for any of the coins to have reached, the captain decided that it was safe to continue the flight.
At just after 10 pm, the plane finally took off, carrying 260 passengers to Chengdu. Not on board, however, were the two women. During the wait, police officers had arrived to escort them into custody.
This is at least the fifth time that this kind of thing has happened in China in the past two years. Even more incredible is the fact that three of these incidents have taken place at the same airport in the Anhui city of Anqing and that three have now involved Lucky Air.
The first such incident occurred in June 2017 when an 80-year-old threw 1.7 yuan in change into the engine of a China Southern Airlines plane at the Shanghai Pudong airport to “pray for a safe flight,” thus causing a five-hour delay and 1 million yuan in damages. Despite this hefty bill, the woman was not charged with any crime due to her old age.
This was followed several months later by a 76-year-old granny flinging coins into the engine of a Lucky Air flight from Anqing to Kunming. The woman was detained but appears to have never been prosecuted.
Then, at the Anqing airport in January, a China Eastern Airlines flight was delayed when workers found two coins lying on the ground near the plane’s engine. When questioned, none of the passengers fessed up to having done the flinging.
While elderly travelers may seem the most likely suspects, it appears that not only the old are superstitious when it comes to flight. Last month, again at the Anqing airport, a 28-year-old male passenger was taken into custody after trying to chuck coins into the engine of a Lucky Air plane while boarding, believing that they would keep the flight safe from hazard.
Lucky Air has claimed that the incident resulted in 140,000 yuan ($20,000) in losses and has said that it plans to pursue legal action against the man. It’s not yet clear if the airline will also try to take these two latest passengers to court.