A Cathay Pacific flight to Thailand was delayed for three hours after an angry passenger who could not find a place to store his luggage tore a hole in the ceiling of the brand-new plane, Apple Daily reports.
Flight CX705 was originally scheduled to take off at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday from the Hong Kong International Airport for Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.
A male passenger, believed to be a Hong Kong resident, was looking for an overhead locker to store his carry-on luggage at the rear end of the Airbus A350 aircraft but could not find one.
It was learned that the new aircraft does not have overhead lockers for the center D, E and G seats on rows 70-74.
A flight attendant tried to calm the commuter and advised him to place his luggage under his seat or in any of the overhead lockers on both sides of the plane.
But the man lost his temper and pulled a fixed plate on the ceiling of the cabin.
He did it with such force that the plate was torn off and left dangling in the air, resulting in an ugly hole in the ceiling, according to a fellow passenger who witnessed the incident.
Because of the damage, the aircraft was subjected to an emergency repair, which was completed at 11:24 a.m. A total of 280 passengers were affected.
A Cathay spokesperson confirmed the three-hour delay and apologized for the inconvenience caused.
However, the airline declined to comment on whether it would file a complaint with the police or seek compensation from the passenger who caused the damage.
Jack Lo Chun-kong, a lecturer of aircraft engineering at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tsing Yi), said a full inspection of the aircraft for safety was necessary as the incident might have resulted in other structural or cable damage.
The affected plane, an A350-900, was the airline’s latest delivery from Airbus and is said to have cost HK$2 billion. It began operation on June 1.
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