Cathay Pacific’s First A350 Delayed When Passenger Pulls Off Ceiling Panel

I really enjoy flying Hong Kong-based oneworld airline Cathay Pacific on short haul flights, because while they do have a ‘short haul’ business class (which is better than US airline first class) often short flights like the 1049 mile Hong Kong – Bangkok route will be operated by long haul aircraft with fully flat seats (and in either case you get a multi-course meal up front).

Wednesday’s Cathay Pacific flight CX705 was operated by an Airbus A350. And it suffered a 3 hour delay for a rather unusual reason.

A passenger seated towards the back of the plane tried to open an overhead bin but pulled off the ceiling panel instead.

Via Facebook:

The problem:

Unbeknownst to him, there are no overhead storage bins in that section of the A350. According to Oriental Daily, Cathay Pacific staff had informed passengers at the time that those particular seats were not equipped with lockers, although we guess some people just prefer to learn things the hard way.

HK01 reports that the man “flat-out refused to believe that he couldn’t stow his luggage there” and ended up tearing the damn panel off the ceiling, creating a massive, gaping hole.

280 passengers were onboard Cathay Pacific’s very first A350 which was performing the flight. The presumably-embarrassed passenger who pulled down the ceiling panel continued on the flight.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Apparently CX declined to comment on what happened to the passenger. Reason being that he was a CX DM. But then you wonder why it is this type of people that do things like this.

  2. Reminds me of kicking at the window to see if i could break it out…..when I was 6.

    I likely could have gotten a cannon and frozen chicken aboard and done my own certification test in the early 60’s. Of course, I’m not sure there are any bird strikes from the inside of the cabin.

  3. First it’s unbelievable that the man pulled off the panel but why would a new A350 aircraft not have overhead bins throughout the entire coach cabin? I’ve never been on a wide body airplane that didn’t have overhead bins all the way back. Seems odd. If you have ever flown in Asia you can understand how this could happen. Most passengers don’t pay attention to the announcements or even understand them for that matter. It’s like trying to exit a subway train. It’s almost impossible to get off unless you push your way off. People getting on are in such a hurry they block the path to get off.

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