LOT Polish Airlines said it asked passengers to chip in to cover costs of plane repairs after the mechanic would only accept cash payment. Picture: Bartek Sadowski/Bloomberg
LOT Polish Airlines said it asked passengers to chip in to cover costs of plane repairs after the mechanic would only accept cash payment. Picture: Bartek Sadowski/Bloomberg

Airline’s outrageous request to passengers

Passengers have to put up with a lot of extra costs, but what was asked of passengers on a recent flight with LOT Polish Airlines is particularly bizarre.

The flight was scheduled to depart Beijing Capital Airport, bound for Warsaw, on November 11 but struggled to take off.

It turned out the Boeing 787 Dreamliner had a faulty hydraulic pump and needed a new one.

But when the Boeing mechanic repairing the plane insisted payment for the replacement part had to be in cash, the station manager reportedly asked passengers to chip in for the repairs.

The whip-around the cabin fetched around $490, which was enough to cover installation of the new pump.

But passengers then faced a mighty 10-hour wait for the repairs to be completed before they could finally take off.

In a statement published on Aerotime, LOT said the on-flight station manager was trying to "speed up the departure" of the significantly delayed flight by asking for the passengers' help.

The Polish flag carrier said all passengers who contributed money were reimbursed when the flight eventually landed in Warsaw. They were also offered compensation.

But the company admitted that asking passengers to chip in was wrong in the first place.

"Although we understand the good intentions of LOT station manager, from the company's standpoint the decision was wrong," the airline said.

"Passengers should not be engaged in this situation at any stage … We will draw conclusions and consequences from this situation."

LOT spokesman Adrian Kubicki told Newsweek the Boeing employee would not accept payment for repairs that wasn't in cash.

"He had no right to do it, because our settlements are cashless," Mr Kubicki said.

The incident is reportedly under investigation.



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