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Airlines

Airline Asks Passengers to Lend Them Some Cash to Pay for Repairs

Airline Asks Passengers to Lend Them Some Cash to Pay for Repairs
Jeff Edwards

Passengers on a LOT Polish Airlines flight scheduled to depart from China were asked to fork over cash to pay for replacing a pump when the mechanic refused to accept electronic payment for the emergency repair part. The carrier says passengers’ money was returned to them promptly after reaching their final destination.

Passengers on a LOT Polish Airlines flight received some bad news when they learned their flight from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) to Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport (WAW) would be delayed for several hours because a faulty hydraulic pump needed to be replaced. Things got even worse when flyers learned they would need to foot the bill for the repairs with the cash they had on-hand.

The Daily Mail reports the problem wasn’t that the flag carrier of Poland was short on funds, but that the mechanic demanded cash for the part and would not accept the traditional forms of electronic payment. According to the airline, the flyers, some of whom were eager to pony-up in the name of getting back home as soon as possible, were repaid when the flight landed in Poland about 10 hours behind schedule.

LOT officials were not especially pleased that crew members took it upon themselves to pass the hat around the cabin. The airline quickly apologized when news of the unorthodox fundraising campaign came to light.

“An employee at the Boeing warehouse in Beijing refused to accept a bank transfer and insisted on cash,” an airline spokesperson told the newspaper. “There are no circumstances that justify asking money from passengers.”

The airline says that, in addition to quickly making good on IOUs, passengers on the flight were offered more than $650 in compensation along with flight vouchers. The employee responsible is said to have been disciplined for the unauthorized panhandling at the gate.

Although not exactly commonplace, this isn’t the first time passengers have been asked to cough up cash to help get a commercial airline flight in the air. In 2012, Air France passengers were asked to help pay for fuel after a flight was forced to make an unscheduled stop in war-torn Syria. A year earlier, Birmingham Airport (BHX)-bound Comtel Air passengers were asked to come up with $30 each to pay for fuel during a stop at Vienna International Airport (VIE).

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (7)

7 Comments

  1. rylan

    November 20, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Ahhh yes, leave it up to a mechanic in China to delay a flight for $360 cash.

  2. j2simpso

    November 20, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    I bet the passengers said, “Thanks a LOT!” after hearing the plea!

  3. alphaod

    November 21, 2018 at 11:49 am

    This mechanic not going to have a job anymore…

  4. kiwitripper64

    November 21, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    The employee responsible has been disciplined. Sounds like there was no management help and they found a solution. All passengers reimbursed and flight left that day. The employee should be given a reward for being prepared to act.. They probably saved LOT lots of money due to plane being available sooner. If any of the passengers complained of being coerced into giving money it might be different, but this smells like PR spin.

  5. bryanb

    November 24, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Seems like the mechanic ought to face disciplinary action as well. It’s not clear if they were a Boeing employee, but demanding cash makes it look suspiciously like a “facilitating payment.”

  6. htb

    November 25, 2018 at 1:27 am

    I feel sorry for the employee who saved the day and gets punished for it. They should pursue the their maintenance partners in China, but that is probably more difficult…
    HTB.

  7. mvoight

    November 26, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Why would you think the mechanic at an airport in China is a Boeing employee?

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