This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Superstitious flyers, here’s a tip: if you’re looking to attract some good karma aboard your flight, don’t throw coins into the aircraft engine.
Chinese airline Lucky Air had an unlucky day when a passenger tossed coins into the plane engine “for good luck.” The airline is now suing that passenger, known only as Lu.
When airline staff found yuan coins on the tarmac by the plane’s left engine, they questioned passengers, and Lu confessed to throwing the coins. So all 162 passengers were deplaned and faced a day-long delay while the airline could execute a full-engine check. According to Lucky Air, the delay and check cost them about 140,000 yuan (approximately $21,000). Lu, who had tossed the coins while boarding the flight, was subsequently taken into custody and detained for seven days.
“The incident caused a direct economic loss of nearly 140,000 yuan,” Lucky Air said in a statement to the Daily Mail, “and our company will press charges against the passenger in accordance with the law.” It isn’t exactly clear, however, if the airline is holding Lu accountable for the total 140,000 yuan in damages. TPG reached out to Lucky Air for more information but did not receive a response by time of publication.
Despite being a safety hazard, passengers have tossed coins into aircraft engines for good luck more than once. The Independent reported two separate incidents of elderly women tossing coins into a plane’s engine in China for good luck in 2017. One of which, who was flying China Southern, threw nine coins at the engine (only one hit) and caused a flight delay of 5 hours.
While a few small coins might seem pretty innocuous, if sucked up by the engine, they could cause extensive damage or total engine failure.
Featured image by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards