Woman Opens Emergency Exit and Pops Slide Because She Was Curious

You know how some kids just have to touch the stove when their parents tell them it’s hot?

Right after an announcement that passengers shouldn’t touch the emergency exit door unless it’s an emergency a passenger on Xiamen Airlines flight MF8118 on Monday opened an exit door deploying the slide. She faces detention and significant costs.

The woman says she was “just curious” however “[u]nder China’s Civil Aviation laws, the woman will be liable for any costs in the incident.”

Curiosity is expensive:

[A]n executive from Xiamen Airlines said the minimum cost for fixing the slide was about 100,000 yuan ($14,700) if there was no damage to its airbag. Otherwise, the direct loss could hit approximately 450,000 yuan.

Indirect losses, including the flight cancellation, rearrangement of passengers and adverse effects on subsequent flights were being estimated, the executive added.

The flight had to be cancelled and 112 passengers re-accommodated. Fortunately Xiamen Airlines operates 6 daily frequencies on the three hour route between Beijing and Xiamen, including four more on Monday (two Boeing 737s, a 757, and a 787).

Flight attendants have been known to ‘peace out’ by popping an aircraft slide on arrival and running away down the tarmac. (Although sometimes they just set fire to the lav.)

Sometimes passengers open the aircraft door and head off themselves to avoid deportation or simply because as on this China Southern flight they can’t find the bathroom so try all the doors.

In December 2014 a 50 year old man on another Xiamen Airlines flight in Hangzhou opened the emergency exit door because he “just want to breathe before taking off.”

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Upon reading the title I thought, “not another chinese….”. It is. Not to be racist, but these (crazy) things are common in china.

  2. Not to be racist, @James? Well I have no problem being racist with folks like you. Whatever people you cane from must be lacking in intelligence for you to say things like, “Not to be racist, BUUTTTT I must say some racist shit anyway.”

  3. @Gary
    A little constructive criticism: please feature fewer of these “outrageous”, “horrible”, “disturbing” posts based on “man bites dog” news reports. It isn’t what we value about your blog, and you aren’t particularly good at it. You are excellent at highlighting niche opportunities, valuable deals, and similar things. I’d urge you to reconsider the balance.
    (Of course—and it should go without saying—it’s your blog, do as you wish.)

  4. Agree with Sam. I am reading less and less of this blog. I am not interested in a tabloid. AND I am tired of “news” of some video of a bad employee going after a poor innocent victim of a passenger. Wait for the whole story or keep quiet.

  5. Agree with Sam. I am reading less and less of this blog. I am not interested in a tabloid.

  6. These things really do happen – even in the US. Back when I was a flight attendant in the 80’s, I had a passenger try to open the rear exit IN FLIGHT “to smoke a cigarette outside.” Back then smoking was allowed on planes so I told him to return to his seat and he could just smoke there.

  7. As a Frequent Flyer, I like that Gary has been putting flight related stories out there. LOL: From now on, when I see the exit, I am going to know NOT to be curious.

  8. I, for one, love these “tabloid” stories. I actually started reading this blog because it has the sweetest scoops.

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