We’ve heard of baggage charges and people being asked to pay to be sat together, but forking out extra for take-off is something that doesn’t happen very often.
However, that’s exactly what happened to 249 passengers when their plane suffered a technical hitch.
There was an issue with the hydraulics and a new pump was required but staff at Beijing airport would not accept a bank transfer, insisting on cash only.
A whip-round was organised and people on the LOT Polish Airlines flight handed over £280.
They then faced a 10-hour wait for the repairs to be done before the flight to Warsaw could take off.
Passenger Daniel Golebiowski said: ‘We are at the international airport. I cannot believe that transactions take place here in cash under the table with the mechanic standing next to the plane.
Incredible.’ Airline spokesman Adrian Kubicki said: ‘I know that you encountered an unusual situation today, for which I would like to apologise for from the bottom of my heart.
‘Believe it or not, but there was a situation with a warehouse employee in Beijing who refused all methods of payment other than cash which led to the confusion.
‘Nevertheless, I am grateful to him and that the flight returned safely to Warsaw.’
Passengers who donated money were reimbursed when they arrived in Warsaw and given vouchers as well as being eligible for compensation for the delay.
The worker who asked passengers for money will face disciplinary action. Mr Kubicki added: ‘There are no circumstances that justify asking money from passengers.
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