As it turns out, some superstitious rituals can ultimately bring you bad fortune. To bring good luck to himself and his fellow travelers, a passenger on Chinese low-cost airline Lucky Air tossed some coins into the engine ahead of his flight from Anqing to Kunming, China, on February 17. “Lu,” as the passenger is being identified, is now paying the price for his behavior.
The South China Morning Post reports that officials discovered a couple of coins on the tarmac near the aircraft’s left engine before departure, which triggered a more thorough search of the mechanism where they found more coins.
Lu didn’t invent this good luck charm. Coin tossing is a common, though unfounded and polluting, good luck ritual just about everywhere in the world. In this case, it was extremely dangerous. Tossing a tiny coin into a jet engine can cause serious damage and even total engine failure. According to Lucky Air, Lu’s coins caused over $20,000 in damages to the plane, in addition to the flight’s delay until the following day for over 160 passengers.
In a statement to Travel Pulse, Lucky Air said, “Not only does tossing coins not give you good luck it will endanger aviation safety and land you in detention. You could be fined and prosecuted.”
Indeed, Lucky Air has allegedly pressed charges against Lu, who has reportedly spent seven days in police custody.