Needing Fresh Air, Chinese First-Time Flyer Opens Plane Emergency Door

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( — December 19, 2014)  — On a Xiamen Air flight from Hangzhou to Chengdu on Sunday, a first-time Chinese flyer in his 50s openeded the emergency door next to his seat on the airplane. He explained to the shocked crew that he needed to get some fresh air. Luckily, the incident happened while the airplane was still on the ground, so no harm was done to any passengers.  

“It’s my first time seeing a passenger open the safety door. He told the attendants he just wanted some fresh air … hope our flight won’t be delayed for too long,” a passenger wrote online, The South China Morning Post reports.

Fortunately, the exit was just above a wing and no inflatable chute was deployed. The flight attendants were able to fix the door and proceed with the take-off. However, they placed the man in another seat, as far from emergency exits as possible.

The airline officials said they won’t press charges against the man because “he did not cause delays or any other direct losses to the airline,” an employee told the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper.

It is not, however, the first case of misbehavior in Chinese domestic flights.

Last week a man on flight from Xi’an to Sanya used an emergency exit “to get off the plain quicker,” he told the police. The inflatable chute was deployed and that caused a delay of the plane’s next take-off by two hours.

Besides, the delay, the airline company had to fix the emergency chute and door which cost them over $16,000.

On Friday, the plane flying from Bangkok to Nanjing had to come back to Bangkok after a woman threw a cup of noodles in boiling water at a flight attendant while her friend threatened to blow up the plane.

These cases have caused great consternation in China, as people fear such behavior in international flights is spoiling the image of the country. The China National Tourism Administration pledged that the Chinese involved in such cases would be punished and their names would be put in a special list of travelers causing trouble.

On the other hand, frightened passengers say the airline companies should train plane crews to spot potential first-time flyers, or simply advise ones sitting next to emergency exit doors.