Planet China

The golden generation

A superstitious passenger caused chaos for one of China’s airlines last week. The problems started, reports the South China Morning Post, prior to a China Southern flight between Shanghai and Guangzhou. It was carrying an 80 year-old woman who was clearly a nervous flyer and to make sure the plane would have no problems, she threw nine coins into one of its engine’s prior to boarding.

Other passengers were horrified to see her “blessing” the aircraft in this way and reported it to staff. Engineers were quickly called and the plane was grounded while they sought to extract the coins, with the captain telling local media the coins could have caused serious damage and even engine failure. The flight was delayed by five hours, with nine coins eventually removed.

The old lady – who was said to have “limited mobility” and was accompanied by her husband, daughter and son-in-law – clearly did not know much about how jet engines work. That said, the idea of throwing coins for luck isn’t unheard of. At the Wynn Casino in Macau it is a common practice, with gamblers tossing coins at a golden money tree in the belief it will bring good fortune at the tables. As for the coin-thrower on this occasion, the police told her she should have been jailed for five days for her disruptive act, but they let get go free due to her age.

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