An elderly Chinese passenger who threw a handful of coins towards the engine of a jet she was about to board in China in the belief it would bring her flight good luck, has instead brought bad luck to her dozens of fellow passengers, as well as the airline that owned the plane – and herself.
After other passengers told crew they saw the 76 year-old toss the coins towards the engine as she walked across the tarmac at Anqing in eastern China one evening a few weeks ago, the plane’s operators grounded the flight. Passengers were taken off and put into hotels for the night, and a team of engineers and mechanics spent several hours searching the engine to recover a single coin, and to find others scattered over a wide area on the ground below it.
The delayed passengers were finally flown to their destination of Kunming in south-western China the next morning.
And the name of the airline involved? Would you believe it was Lucky Air.
Bizarrely it was the second time this year that a flight in China had been delayed because of coins being thrown into an aircraft’s engine.
In June an 80 year-old Chinese woman tossed nine small coins into an engine of a China Southern Airlines plane at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport.
The coins totaled the equivalent of just AU$0.32, but to move passengers to other flights, re-schedule services and crews, and search the affected aircraft’s engine cost China Southern the equivalent of AU$193,000.
The coin-tossers involved in both events have been questioned by police, but no action has been taken against either of them because of their ages, and their deep religious beliefs that they were bringing luck to their journeys.