By Janine Puhak
Published February 26, 2019
A Chinese airline is reportedly pressing charges against a passenger who threw coins at a plane engine ahead of a recent flight for "good luck." The man’s actions allegedly caused roughly $21,000 in damages and delayed travel plans for 160-plus passengers, who were forced to wait until the following day to fly out.
Officials at Anqing Tianzhushan Airport were shocked to find two one yuan coins on the ground near the left engine of a Lucky Air plane, TravelPulse reports. As noted by The Points Guy, small coins could cause great damage or total engine failure if they are sucked into an aircraft’s engine.
Belgian aviation site Aviation24.be has since shared to Twitter an image reportedly from the Feb. 17 incident.
Soon after the officials saw the coins, a 28-year-old man, identified only by his surname, Lu, admitted to tossing them at the plane's engine as he boarded the aircraft for flight 8L9960, as per the South China Morning Post. According to the outlet, Lu threw the money at the aircraft for "luck."
The flight was quickly canceled over security concerns, costing the airline nearly $21,000 and forcing the 162 other passengers to wait until the next day to depart for their destination in Kunming.
Meanwhile, Lu, who was traveling with his wife and child, is said to have been detained for seven days in relation to the offense, TravelPulse reports.
"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," reps for Lucky Air said in a Feb. 22 statement, according to the outlet. "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."
Reps for the carrier did not immediately return Fox News’ request for additional comment on the story.
Some religions acknowledge the ritual of throwing coins as practice of “good luck," as noted by The Independent.
In June 2017, a China Southern Airlines passenger grounded her flight in Shanghai for five hours for similarly throwing coins into the plane’s engine for good luck.