ith all the recent instances of Chinese passengers throwing “lucky” coins at plane engines, it’s easy to forget about another surprisingly common traveling faux pas.
On April 21st, a 65-year-old man, surnamed Song, traveled with his family from the Shandong capital of Jinan to the sacred island of Putuoshan, located southeast of Shanghai, aboard a Shandong Airlines flight. Seated in the 15th row, Song became impatient after the plane landed and fellow passengers started to queue up to disembark.
He noticed a door right beside him and decided to pull the handle to beat the rush.
This was, of course, the emergency exit. After being surrounded by cabin crew and security personnel, Song claimed that this was his first-ever flight and he was not aware that he wasn’t supposed to open the door, despite the clear warning signs.
While the emergency chute didn’t actually open and flight attendants quickly closed the exit without any delay to other passengers, officials still decided to detain Song for 10 days for the mistake.
Before coin-flipping suddenly became a thing, opening the emergency exit was the most infamous gaffe a traveler could make. The most recent such incident occurred in April of last year in Sichuan province. Previous motives include: being in a hurry to disembark, mistaking the emergency exit for the bathroom door, wanting to get some fresh air, and curiosity.