A woman threw coins at her plane for 'good luck.' She got a five-hour delay instead.

An 80-year-old woman was just trying to ensure that her two-and-a-half hour flight from China’s Shanghai to Guangzhou would go smoothly.

Instead, she caused the evacuation of 150 of her fellow passengers and a five-hour delay after she threw a handful of coins at the aircraft for “good luck,” CNN reports.

Unluckily for the woman, named only by her surname, Qiu, one of the coins she threw while walking across the tarmac towards the plane landed inside the engine of the Airbus A320.


Fellow passengers reported the woman’s behaviour to officials and a thorough search found one coin inside the plane’s engine—with another eight scattered on the ground.

According to the Xinmin Evening News, passengers were, in fact, lucky to have spotted the woman’s actions before the plane took off.

“If nobody had reported someone throwing coins into the engine, the consequences could have been unthinkable,” a senior flight mechanic told the publication.


The China Southern Airlines flight was originally scheduled to depart Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport at 12:40 p.m.

But after hearing of the woman’s behaviour, a search and inspection of the engine began and the aircraft wasn’t cleared for takeoff until almost five hours later.

According to a statement from the airline, the flight took off at 6:16 p.m., arriving at its final destination more than five hours late.

LISTEN: This 16-year-old pilot is reminding us that we can do anything we put our minds to. Post continues after audio.

The value of the woman’s nine coins totalled around 25 U.S. cents.

The cost of the flight delay and engine inspection could end up costing more than US$140,000.

“The passenger, surnamed Qiu, who has no prior criminal record or mental health issues, claimed she tossed coins as a prayer for a safe flight,” Shanghai Police said in a statement regarding the incident.

It’s believed the woman will not be jailed over the actions due to her age.

The jury’s still out on whether the woman’s good luck wish actually worked.