AN ELDERLY woman was responsible for delaying her plane by more than four hours on Tuesday after she threw coins into the engine on the runway at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
The 80-year-old woman chucked a fistful of coins into a China Southern Airlines Airbus 320 for good luck and to "wish a safe flight.” Other passengers saw the elderly woman throwing coins for "blessings” from midway up the boarding staircase and alerted authorities.
Concerned the metal could cause "serious damage” to the plane’s engine, the incident led to hours of maintenance and the plane to arrive five hours late to its destination in Guangzhou.
"A senior passenger threw coins to the plane’s engine and delayed the flight,” the airline explained on social media, as quoted by Flying Magazine.
"The passenger involved has been taken away by police. In order to make sure the flight is safe, China Southern maintenance has conducted a full exam of the plane’s engine.”
Identified by only her surname Qiu, the octogenarian reportedly threw nine coins into one of the engines.
Passengers had already been boarded and were asked to exit the plane whilst technicians removed the coins.