A first-time flyer could be forced to pay thousands of pounds after she opened an emergency door instead of the toilet.

The unnamed passenger, onboard the Air China flight, mistook the exit for the bathroom which sparked chaos on the plane. Passengers boarded the aircraft from the eastern city of Quzhou in a bid to reach Chengdu on July 4. However, their flight was cancelled following the catastrophe which caused the evacuation slide to unfold in front of shocked staff. The cabin crew had to direct the passengers off the plane, which had now been grounded for maintenance for several days.

One flyer, surnamed Cheng, shared how the woman managed to open the door without raising any suspicions. Cheng told the Chongqing Morning Post that the woman was reduced to tears once she realised her mistake could cost her a £22,000 fine. The woman could also be punished with administrative detention, which is when someone is sentenced to detention without going through court. As part of this she could also receive a travel ban.

Cheng said: “When the evacuation slide popped out, even the flight attendants were startled. The female passenger was in tears when she heard that she would need to pay damages." Police interviewed the woman after she got off the plane, which was pictured positioned stationary on the tarmac with the slide still in place. Another passenger told news outlet Shine: "The flight was delayed from its 8:45pm departure due to air traffic control.

"Around 9pm, it seemed no one was in the back operation area, and a passenger looking for the bathroom mistakenly opened the emergency door." He added: "There was no sound when the slide deployed. After the incident, they announced a further delay and then cancelled the flight. Air China took us to a hotel to rest."

A third person said they received compensation and said: "A woman ran to the back cabin and opened the emergency door, causing everyone on the plane to stay at a hotel." But not everyone understood the mistake, as one person wrote on social media platform, Weibo: “Being a first-time flier is no excuse. She could have simply asked the crew where the toilet was. If the emergency door is so easily opened, isn’t it prone to accidental activation? This seems like a design flaw of the aircraft."

2024-07-09T15:10:15Z dg43tfdfdgfd