Passenger Tied to His Seat After Throwing Money on the Ground and Charging Cockpit

On Thursday SkyTeam member China Southern was preparing for a 1200 mile hop it performs every day between Wuhan — the most populous city in central China — and Harbin, the capital of China’s northernmost province.

It’s a route flown daily by China Southern with a Boeing 737, and also by Sichuan Airlines with an Airbus A321. Normally not more than 2.5 hours in flight, this journey would be extended because of a passenger meltdown caught on film.

The passenger seated in 53H began yelling just five minutes into the flight. Then he started throwing money on the floor. He shouted, “Someone is trying to get me, I want to go into the sky, I opened the sky eye.”

The flights crew calmed him down for just a few minutes, but then he got up and tried to rush the cockpit. That’s when both passengers and crew pounced to restrain the man. He was tied up, and tied into his seat, until the plane could get him offloaded before the journey would continue.

“Passengers behaving badly” stories have become no stranger to Chinese aviation, or to China Southern. Usually though the passengers are just trying to open the aircraft door and pop the slide.

That’s when flights get delayed. And passengers get put up in some sketchy accommodations for the night.

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. Just verifying that this constitutes thought leadership? Reporting a wacko on a Chinese airline.

  2. Most likely someone with a mental sickness.

    But hey…it’s good blog fodder!!!!1

  3. I’m always happy when I hear about incidents like this where they just tie them up and keep flying. As opposed to many flights in the US that have emergency landed because two people were fighting. I would be so pissed if I was late because the pilot decided to land for no reason. If there isn’t an actual emergency or a danger to the plane, just tie them up or handcuff them and keep to the schedule.

  4. At least Gary shows some restraint here (hmmm – did I just do that?)…

    Other bloggers would have found some way to link 4 or 5 credit cards that pay 2x or 3x for mental health care! After all the game is ALL about conversions #pumppumppump

  5. Hey its Gary’s blog, not public announcement channels, nobody forces the fodder on your mouth if you dont come in here. I read them i hope these keep coming.

  6. as a flight attendant for 29 years, I have had to restrain only one pax, which was fighting(actual fist blows) over a reclined seat in row 1. thanks to the help of other pax we got him restrained and had law enforcement meet the plane upon landing. I am not a tired or jaded attendant, but will say some people lose their minds when travelling, or are just trash to begin with.

  7. also by the way seat 53h in a 737? No way possible. plz clue me in if im missing something here

  8. On most China domestic major airlines, the first row in Economy is 30 – and it’s somewhere around the 3rd-5th physical row (depending upon configuration)

  9. I understand the explanation on the row, but seat “H”? Are they squeezing 8 across?

  10. @JohnDCA The reason is because China Southern starts the economy rows at Row 31 on the 738. Why? Who knows.

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