First-time flyer mistakes emergency exit for toilet on Chinese plane

A China Southern Airlines passenger who was flying for the first time accidentally deployed the plane's evacuation slide after trying to open the emergency exit door, thinking it was the lavatory.

In the incident on Friday (March 25) afternoon, the aircraft had just completed boarding when other passengers suddenly heard a hissing sound and panicked. They were then evacuated from the plane while the airline fixed the problem, delaying the flight from Chongqing to Shenzhen by over two hours, Ming Pao reported.

Some passengers took to Weibo to vent their frustrations, posting photos of the aircraft with the evacuation slide deployed.

One user wrote: "Alighted from the plane even before it took off."

Explaining her actions, the woman claimed it was her first time taking a plane and the long queue to the toilet had forced her to look for another elsewhere. She eventually did not take her maiden flight as she was detained for questioning instead.

China Southern Airlines experienced a similar case earlier this month when a man wanted to open the emergency exit door to get some fresh air while waiting for take-off. He thought the handle was a lever he could use to roll down his window, he said.

In January, a Capital Airlines passenger was detained by police after she tried to open the emergency exit door and threatened to commit suicide.