Airline Sues Passenger for Tossing Coins in Plane Engine for ‘Good Luck’

Flying, while extremely safe, can be a scary experience. Some people simply can’t wrap their minds around a giant metal tube traveling through the sky at high speeds, you know? That’s where the personal rituals, like carrying comforting objects or...

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Flying, while extremely safe, can be a scary experience. Some people simply can’t wrap their minds around a giant metal tube traveling through the sky at high speeds, you know? That’s where the personal rituals, like carrying comforting objects or taking deep breaths during take off come in.

There are plenty of harmless ways to soothe your flight anxiety. Tossing coins into the engine, however, isn’t one of them -- a lesson one frightened flyer learned the hard way, according to a report from The Independent. Lucky Air is now suing said passenger for gumming up the works with change ahead of a flight from Anqing to Kunming in China on February 17.

Officials only became aware of the issue after they discovered a couple of one yuan coins on the tarmac near the plane. The passenger, identified in the report only as “Lu,” claims he did it to bring good luck to himself and his fellow passengers, including his wife and child according to a separate report, on their journey. What he got was quite the opposite.

Coin tossing is a common Chinese good luck ritual that’s also popular in other parts of the world. People typically toss coins in fountains, however, not plane engines. While money in fountains is harmless (unless, of course, that fountain has fish in it… but that’s another story), The Points Guy noted that small objects, such as coins, can cause serious damage and even total engine failure on planes. In short, things could have gone seriously wrong if Lucky Air took off before finding the coins.

Lucky Air alleges that Lu’s good luck ritual caused more than $20,000 in damages to the aircraft and left over 160 passengers delayed. Everyone who was meant to be on the flight was forced to wait until the following day to board a plane to their intended destination. The airline is now pressing charges against the passenger. According to Travel Pulse, he’s been in custody for about a week.

“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,” Lucy Air said in a statement to Travel Pulse.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened on a Lucky Air flight, which is pretty ironic considering the company’s name. In 2017, a 76-year-old woman did the exact same thing, causing similar issues.

To review, you’re welcome to do whatever brings you comfort and eases your anxiety when flying, but please -- for the sake of your fellow passengers, airline mechanics, and everyone else -- do not toss coins, or anything else, into plane engines.


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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it -- find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.