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Passenger on flight deploys emergency slide while looking for the toilet – it was her first flight

Simon Calder’s Travel

A first-time flyer caused havoc on an Air China flight after mistakenly opening the emergency exit door while trying to find the aircraft’s toilet.

Air China flight CA2754 from Quzhou to Chengdu had been waiting to depart after air traffic control delays when the unidentified female passenger opened the emergency door after assuming it led to the onboard bathroom.

To the shock of the cabin crew, the Airbus A320’s inflatable emergency slide then deployed on the tarmac at around 8.45pm local time last Thursday (4 July).

The flight was evacuated and consequently cancelled after the slide unfolded out of the open exit door.

A photograph posted to Twitter/X showed the Airbus A320 sitting on the tarmac at Quzhou Airport with the exit slide inflated.

It is illegal to open the exit door of an aircraft without authorisation in China.

The woman, who was questioned by police, may be fined up to 200,000 Chinese yuan (£22,000) for activating the emergency slide on the then-grounded aircraft.

A fellow passenger, Cheng, said: “The female passenger was in tears when she heard that she would need to pay damages,” according to the Chongqing Morning Post.

The outlet reported that passengers, including the woman, were relocated to hotel accommodation by Air China and given 400 yuan (£43) in compensation after the flight was cancelled.

The Independent has reached out to Air China for comment.

It’s not the first time this year an aircraft has accidentally deployed its emergency slide.

In April, a Delta Airlines flight was forced to return to New York after an emergency slide billowed out from above one wing shortly after take-off.

Flight 520 declared an emergency after cabin crew noticed a “flight deck indication related to the right-wing emergency exit slide, as well as a non-routine sound from near the right wing,” Delta Airlines told The Independent.

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