China’s Lucky Air Sues Passenger For $21,000 For Throwing Coins Into Engine

Passengers don’t need any more good fortune when flying Lucky Air, but one passenger thought otherwise. Authorities detained a passenger on Feb. 17 for throwing coins into the Lucky Air plane engine. The company plans to press charges against the man based on security threats and lost revenue. It’s not even the first time that this occurrence happened to Lucky Air.

Lucky Air Boeing 737
Lucky Air Boeing 737 parked on tarmac via Wiki Commons.

The ‘Un’Lucky Air Incident

It seemed like a routine flight for Lucky Air, traveling from Anqing to Kunming in East China. While the ground staff was conducting the pre-flight check, coins were discovered nearby one of the plane’s engines. The passenger, known as ‘Lu,’ acknowledged his participation in the act and was detained by authorities for seven days during an investigation.

Lu, 28, was boarding Lucky Air flight 8L9960 with his wife and one-year-old child. The man tossed two 1 yuan coins while boarding on the tarmac. He claims that the act was done for good fortune while flying the airline. Due to safety and security concerns, the flight was grounded and eventually canceled. All 162 passengers were affected by tossing the coins. They were ultimately switched to a next day flight traveling to Kunming.

It seems Lu’s luck quickly ran out as the airline company plans to take extended measures in handling the incident.

Lucky Air Presses Charges

Lucky Air has decided to press charges against the man for disrupting its flight. Lucky Air is suing for approximately $21,000.

Lucky Air Boeing 737 Takeoff
Lucky Air Boeing 737 getting ready for takeoff via Wiki Commons.

The lawsuit is based on the lost revenue from the flight and also potential safety issues that could have arisen based on the coins being tossed. A statement from Lucky Air mentions, “The incident caused a direct economic loss of nearly 140,000 yuan, and our company will press charges against the passenger in accordance with the law.”

The potential damage to the aircraft engine could have been severe. If the coins were sucked into the engine, it could have easily caused it to lose speed, tremble, or even stop while in flight. The safety risk was a significant factor in deciding to press charges against the offender.

The incident is not the first time that Lucky Air has experienced someone tossing coins into their engines. As recently as 2017, an older woman was also detained for throwing coins. Her actions were blamed on her age, so charges weren’t pursued. The current lawsuit could serve as an example of how serious the airline takes this issue.

Lucky Air A320 Cabin
A look inside the cabin of a Lucky Air plane via Wiki Commons.

Lucky Air sends a warning to its future passengers who might be thinking of tossing coins into the engines; “Not only does tossing coins not give you good luck, it will endanger aviation safety and land you in detention. You could be fined and prosecuted.”

Tossing coins is a superstitious act and done in a lot of cultures. It’s typically seen as an act for good luck and fortune but not when throwing them into airplane engines. Safety is a major concern for Lucky Air. Any threat to the functionality of their planes deserves appropriate measures when resolving it.