China Southern Airlines reported on Sunday that one of its flights, CZ3121, experienced a significant delay after a passenger was observed throwing coins toward the plane.
The airline confirmed that the passenger involved has been turned over to the police for further investigation.
According to the airline's statement, passengers were in the process of boarding the flight at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, destined for Beijing Daxing International Airport, using a boarding vehicle when maintenance workers noticed the passenger's action. Two coins were discovered near the belly of the aircraft, prompting the decision to delay the flight for a comprehensive safety check.
The flight, originally scheduled for a 10 am departure, ultimately took off at 1:29 pm following the safety inspection and arrived safely at its destination at 4 pm.
The passenger responsible for the incident has been handed over to airport police for further investigation. China Southern Airlines issued a reminder to passengers to adhere to civil aviation rules and avoid any actions that could jeopardize flight safety.
Similar incidents have occurred in China's civil aviation sector in the past. In April 2021, a GX Airlines flight was canceled when several coins wrapped in red paper were discovered on the ground. The passenger responsible later admitted to tossing the coins as a form of prayer for blessings. In June 2017, a flight was delayed for over five hours after an elderly passenger threw coins into the engine, also as a prayer for safety.