The China Southern Airlines flight 380 from Shanghai Pudong Airport to Guangzhou was delayed after an elderly woman passenger was suspected of throwing coins in the plane's engine. Pix source: SCMP

HONG KONG: Anyone who has travelled will know that flying can be a stressful affair – which may explain why brawls and falls regularly happen at airports and on planes. While nothing in China came close to the infamous United Airlines fiasco in the US, where a passenger was dragged off an overbooked flight, Chinese social media was buzzing with its fair share of flight mishaps throughout 2017. Here are a few prominent ones that happened this year.


 1. Elderly passenger throws coins into engine for ‘luck’

A flight from Shanghai Pudong International Airport was delayed for five hours in June this year, when passengers spotted an elderly woman throwing coins at the plane engine for good luck and alerted the crew. Plane mechanics later found nine coins, one of which was in the plane engine. The captain was quoted as saying the metal, if sucked up by the engine, could have caused serious damage, including failure.


 2. Chinese couple arrested over airport runway brawl that saw husband’s shirt torn off and wife pinned to ground

In April, a brawl between a husband and wife broke out on the tarmac in southwest China. The couple, who were going through divorce negotiations, had just stepped off an airport passenger bus and were about to board the plane when they began arguing. The quarrel grew more heated and eventually escalated into a fight. The man’s shirt was torn off, and the woman was pinned to the ground by the man. The captain refused them entry to the plane after the fight ended and airport security was called in.


 3. Chinese flight attendant falls out of stationary plane at Zhengzhou airport

A flight attendant fell out of a stationary plane at Zhengzhou airport in Henan province in November this year. The woman, who was not identified, was preparing food on the plane when she lost her footing and fell through the open cabin door. She later underwent surgery to fix a broken bone in her chest. This was the second incident in less than a month. In October, a flight attendant fell from the rear door of a stationary aircraft in Shenzhen. She was trying to close the door as the plane was preparing to take off.


 4. Security nightmare after child boards Shanghai flight with no ticket

All passengers on a Juneyao Airlines flight from Beijing to Shanghai had to disembark and go through security checks a second time in July when the cabin crew discovered a child had boarded without a ticket. The child was reportedly accompanied by three adults, who helped the minor board the flight undetected. In total, the flight was delayed for five hours.


  5. Indonesian passenger plane turns back to Guangzhou after finding cabin door ‘not completely closed’

Early this year, a passenger plane on its way to Bali from Guangzhou had to turn back mid-flight after it was found that the cabin door was incompletely closed. The Sriwijaya Air plane was about three hours into the five-hour flight when the captain decided to return to Guangzhou. Passengers took to social media to express their frustration at having to return to Guangzhou and expressed suspicions about “holes” found on the plane. After a half an hour stop for tests and repair, the plane took off again and landed in Bali safely… (CONTINUED)


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