Opening Emergency Doors on Chinese Airliners Happens More Than You Think

emergency slide doorChina’s airlines have gotten a lot of attention in the press lately, largely thanks to unruly passengers. The latest case is from Chongqing, where a representative with China West Airlines has confirmed that a passenger on board flight PM 6272 that had just landed from Lhasa opened an emergency door while the plane was taxiing on the runway, thus deploying the emergency slide.

The middle-aged man who did it has been detained by police, and may face further detention or a maximum fine of RMB 100,000.

READ: Impatient Passenger Deploys Airplane’s Emergency Slide
to “Get Off The Plane Quicker”

This incident follows a similar one that happened last month when a passenger on board a China Eastern flight opened the emergency exit before the plane had reached the Hainan airport terminal because he wanted to “get off the plane quicker”.

But as it turns out, this is a relatively common problem.

A passenger on a flight from Hangzhou to Chongqing in February 2008 opened an emergency door because he also wanted to get off the plane faster, resulting in a two hour delay for passengers and a RMB 10,000 fine for the passenger responsible.

Due to having a “curious” nature, a passenger on a Xiamen Airlines flight to Nanning in June 2010 turned a door handle on an emergency exit. As the plane had already been in flight for ten minutes, the airplane suffered a loss of cabin pressure.

An emergency door was opened in July 2010 on a flight from Hangzhou to Macau while the airplane was taxiing. As a result, 128 passengers were delayed almost three hours, and 46 year-old Mr Fang was detained for five days and fined RMB 500.

In March 2012 on a flight from Sanya to Chongqing, a 40 year-old woman opened the airplane emergency door while the plane was taxiing because she mistook it for the bathroom door.

Having been denied compensation for a delayed flight due to rainstorms in Guangzhou, a passenger opened an emergency door in retaliation in August 2012, thus delaying the flight for another hour.

On the G52652 flight from Naning to Chongqing in December 2013, a passenger named Ding noticed the red handle on the emergency exit and became curious. When asked by authorities later, Ding said he had thought at the time, “Is this thing the same as the thing on my door at home?” For having turned the handle and opened the door a centimeter wide, Ding was detained for five days.

A Xiamen Airlines flight in Hangzhou getting ready for takeoff on December 16 last year when a 52 year-old passenger opened the emergency door to the plane. The man’s reason for doing so was that he “just wanted to take a breath of fresh air before the plane took off”.

From these examples, we can only conclude that if you have a curious, anxious, or confused nature, taking the train may be a good alternative.

Photo: Caijing, yesky

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor