Chinese airport warns passengers that tossing coins at planes for good luck will jinx lives instead


An airport in south China has issued a notice warning passengers not to throw coins at planes for good luck, claiming that the superstitious act would jinx them instead.

The advisory was displayed on a screen near the security check area at the Phoenix International Airport in Sanya, Hainan Island around two weeks ago, according to Chinese reports, following a number of recent coin toss incidents at other airports across the country.

‘Tossing coins at planes for good luck violates safety rules, jinxes your blessings and is illegal,’ the notice read in Chinese.

However, an English translation under the line read simply: ‘It is illegal to throw money into an airplane to pray for good luck.’ 

An airport employee told China Youth Daily that the word ‘jinx’ was used as a ‘playful reminder’ to target superstitious passengers, who were more likely to pay attention to the word. 

A staff member also told The Paper last Monday that the notice had been taken down and amendments were being made to the English translation.

‘It will go up again after it has been revised,’ the unnamed employee said, adding that the airport had not had any cases of passengers throwing change at planes.

He added that additional staff have been deployed to keep an eye on passengers during boarding following a spate of safety violations at other airports.

According to Beijing News, there had been nearly 10 coin toss incidents reported across the country in the first half of this year.

In April, a 61-year-old woman was caught tossing six coins from a jet bridge as she boarded a China Southern Airlines flight in Nanning, Guangxi province.

Earlier in the same month, a 66-year-old woman was detained for 10 days after she threw six coins at a flight at Hohhot Baita International Airport in Inner Mongolia. 

All 100 passengers on the flight had to be assigned onto a replacement aircraft and the plane took off following a two-hour delay. 

Another 31-year-old man was caught on camera tossing three coins from a jet bridge towards the plane engine for good fortune at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Hubei province on April 2.

The man, surnamed Xia, later told police that his mother-in-law insisted that he should throw coins at the aircraft to pray for a safe flight since it was his child’s first time flying. He was detained for endangering passenger safety for 10 days. 

The engine of an aircraft would be severely damaged or even destroyed if a coin is sucked into it, according to a professor at Civil Aviation University of China cited by China Daily in a previous report.

‘The engine could tremble, lose speed and even stop in mid-air if a coin were sucked into its core,’ he said. ‘That would put all the passengers on board at great risk.’


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