Did This Jerk Scam His Way Into Business Class?

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific, Videos

A popular Instagram user has shared a video of him allegedly scamming his way into a business class seat. As he describes it, this would be “how to fly business class for free.”

The premise is that the guy was flying Cathay Pacific business class from Sydney to Hong Kong. He faked that he broke his ankle, so he bought an orthopedic boot at an airport shop (I’m surprised they sell those).

Then he boarded the flight with it, and when he got to his economy seat, he faked that he couldn’t fit in the seat. Then the crew moved him up to business class… at least that’s the story.

Now, throughout this whole process he’s not exactly acting low key:

  • When he makes this request of the flight attendant and inflight service manager, his friend is filming him
  • He’s constantly filming himself in his business class seat, and is even taking pictures with the crew
  • As he deplanes a Cathay Pacific employee wishes him a speedy recovery, and he says “oh yeah I forgot about that”

If this story is true, the guy is a real piece of work for faking this… that’s not cool. And if the story isn’t true, he’s still a real piece of work for faking this. 😉

Like so many situations nowadays of people trying to gain publicity, there are questions about whether this “prank” was even real, or whether he was just booked in business class and faked the upgrade.

On the one hand, I’d be very surprised if the crew knowingly played along with his prank (given Cathay Pacific’s strict standards), though there are still some things one has to wonder:

  • It’s interesting that they moved him up to business class, rather than to a bulkhead seat in economy, or a premium economy seat (it’s of course possible they were all full, but if they were going to do this you’d think they would move an elite member up, and then move him to one of those seats)
  • It’s interesting that he doesn’t seem to be sitting next to the cameraman/friend he is traveling with (it could be that they couldn’t get seats together)
  • Some suggest that the guy he’s sitting next to in business class (who has an eyemask on in every “scene”) is in fact his dad, who is featured in other videos; based on what we can see of his face I’m inclined to believe that, especially with how careful they are not to show his face at the end of the video, while they have no issues violating everyone else’s privacy

Anyway, Cathay Pacific has been known to blacklist people who play pranks like this, so it will be interesting to see if the airline says anything.

If he did in fact fake his way into business class then I think the airline will take action, while if he didn’t, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spokesperson at least confirm that he had purchased that seat, to prevent other people from getting any ideas.

What do you guys think — did he fake the injury, or did he also fake the prank?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments
  1. This guy is a serial prankster, not dissimilar to Vitaly.

    He was ejected from the Australian Open a few years ago making loud sex noises while Nick Kyrgios was trying to serve.

  2. Fake, as like you said, they should’ve moved him to bulkhead or PE, and if those cabins are full, move an elite up to J instead.

    But I’m not sure why Cathay would want to “promote” themselves like this. Are they trying to say “Don’t buy our business class product, just try to scam a free seat instead”?

  3. Fake. He could have fit in that economy seat if he entered the leg differently. It’s obvious he wants to gain attention. 1.1 million followers on insta. I wonder how many people will try this on CX in the future.

  4. While this is very clearly fake (the cameraman is BACK to the actor in the business class cabin – presumably from a seat further forward or from the lav – either way, not from economy where his friend supposedly would have left behind), I don’t really get how this is smart for Cathay. From an image perspective, it makes them look inept and susceptible to childish pranks. From a publicity perspective, it attracts the worst kind of clientele.

    That said, since this was likely an award booking, the actor is “technically” not lying that he “flew business class for free”.

    I’m ashamed to have watched this and increased that view count.

  5. This is the unsmooth cousin of Justin Ross Lee.

    Definitely a fake. Crew can easily put his leg through the aisle. Doesn’t even deserve bulkhead. Can’t even see how his cameraman could have invaded business class either.

    And the best for last, what happened to his orthopedic boot when he disembark, being on CX leaving behind such a big essential item at any seat would leave the crew scrambling around. Could have been the next shoe bomber.

    This is more like, hey I’m in business but just trying film something fake with these boots in economy can you help?

    Stupid enough to do things like this on CX, he is just too dumb to pull a Justin Ross Lee.

  6. Must be a miracle flight prank. It’s just like many Florida bound flights where you’ll see several wheelchair passengers boarding early, but decline wheelchair services at the jetway of their destination airport. Notice how he was not among the first ones to board and chose to board after many passengers were already seated. It creates drama and sets up the scene.

    The crew will get in trouble for pushing a non-elite member upfront without ground staff authorization, esp if the door is still open. CX has a tattle-tale-ratting-out crew culture. The economy seat must have belonged to the camera man. If I were the purser, I’d hold the plane door open, grab his boarding pass to verify his name/seat, find a double seat in the back for him or swap a bulkhead (non-exit) seat. When nothing available, I’ll ask ground staff to assist in re-assigning his seat.

    Any competant purser would have alerted the pilots to arrange a wheelchair at the jetbridge.

  7. “What do you guys think — did he fake the injury, or did he also fake the prank?”

    More importantly though, did he get the publicity he deserved?

    I’d say no, because he got some publicity and didn’t deserve any.

  8. Calm down people. It’s a prank. If you’re under 30, you’ll have seen his videos across IG and YT for years. The kid is a rich micro-celebrity from across the pond and the man next to him is his real father who is featured on many videos unmasked.

  9. Maybe he was able to do it at Cathay. If he tried on a US airline he would be deplaned for not fitting on his seat.

  10. This is not acceptable – we should not applause for his stupidity behavior. It’s really offensive to those people who are disabled. They are not costume for them to play role to taking advantage something like this. Shame on him and I hope someday he will realize all of his foolish behaviors.

  11. This was a while ago, but was on a Delta flight. (maybe 5 years ago?)

    They announced they had room for paid upgrades to First, so we approached and the agent said our ticket class (don’t remember the fare bucket) was ineligible for paid upgrades.

    So they had like 4-5 empty first class seats. As we’re boarding, there was a couple in front of us, and the guy says his wife has a bad back and can’t sit in economy seats, they move them both to first class for free.

    Grrrr.

    So this doesn’t surprise me.

  12. Just because something “happens” in a business class seat doesn’t mean you’re obligated to cover it.

    Honestly, who cares.

  13. If this turns out to be true that this unethical guy faked to get the upgrade, CX needs to charge his credit card for the seat he was sitting on. If CX cannot do that, how about “banning his name for life”.

  14. There are two types of people in this world, those who ask and those who take. Jamie has always been a taker, and I admire him for his hustle.

  15. Whether it was real or fake it is truly distasteful as it encourages dishonesty and more importantly will make things difficult for someone who is genuinely in a difficult situation. Sounds like it’s a staged prank probably approved by some pre-historic marketer who is trying to get on the digital bandwagon without having any understanding of it

  16. Cathay will just charge his credit card that’s all.
    And he won’t brag about it since he cheated (if he really did cheat )

  17. The color of the door and fuselage change from pure white at the beginning of the video to white/blue at the end

  18. Easy answer. It’s an illusion. They are different flights!!! Look at the fuselage door when he enters and exits the plane….first one has the door being completely white, second one is white/blue. He probably created a fuss and took his seat in economy (taped) and then had another flight in business that was ticketed.

  19. Why in the world would you give more publicity to a douchebag? I guess it’s perfect for a clickbait article.

  20. I had a woman pull something similar on a flight I was on. I had an open seat next to me in domestic first class. Just before the door closed, it was still showing open on the seat map and there was no one on the upgrade list, then suddenly a woman comes hobbling aboard complaining that she had slipped in the bathroom and twisted her ankle. Somehow she got put in the empty first class seat. She was a pest to the FAs the whole flight, harassed me trying to get me to stay with her on my vacation, and was vaping. I probably should have reported her, but I just sucked it up.

  21. The AA FAs call the NYC-MIA flights Miracle Flights, as many pax board from wheelchairs, then almost run off the aircraft

  22. He’ll hear something from CX soon if he hasn’t already for insulting them. Either a prank or real, it’s still an insult.

  23. This guy is an idiot. An airline does something, that it does not have to do and it turns out to be a faker! Kudos to Cathay Pacific for going the extra mile!! Sorry it was a true idiot faking everything.

  24. Made up completely, the aircraft door is completely different in entering and departure, a complete nobody!!

  25. This guy is a total dick. I broke my leg while on holiday in Barbados and I flew the 9 hours back to the UK in BA economy with a full leg cast on, I wouldn’t dare ask for an upgrade. So I find what this guy is doing as extremely insulting. Hope he breaks his ankle for real.

  26. Twenty years ago, I broke my knee, AFTER I had booked a trip to Portugal from the USA. Airline would NOT refund my ticket. I had an external device from top of my leg to my ankle that would only bend slightly at the knee, more it healed. I asked to pay for an upgrade to FC at check in, but was treated to FC for no fee. SO it can happen in reality. Trip was fine, didn’t walk too much, but the device was a fabulous icebreaker. Met lots of great people.

  27. As an aside, I traveled from LIN to EWR via ZRH. I was self transporting for the most part although I had a folding cane when needed. The short leg arrived to ZRH as a bus gate and I asked to be transported as an invalid, with an elevator. They obliged me. On the next leg I had a bulkhead seat which I was fully capable of handling. Unknown to me, they recorded my injury and released my bulkhead to others. When I boarded I got the news. I was not happy but understood till I got on board and saw a guy with a huge full leg cast in my bulkhead exit seat-totally illegal.

  28. In October 2019, I broke my arm 18 hours before an FCO-IAD United Flight. The Italian ER put me in a plaster cast, then “opened” it to allow me to fly because most airlines will not allow you to fly until 48 hours after receiving a cast. I called disability line en route to airport and they were able to request me a wheelchair and move me from a middle seat (was on basic economy ticket) into an aisle seat to accommodate plaster cast from my shoulder to my finger tips. Flight attendants were great, cut my food, kept steady supply of ice packs for black eye, and encouraged other passengers to let me use bathroom without waiting in line. I never asked for upgrade, but was never offered. I was pleased with excellent service and support United gave without taking advantage of it.

  29. Fake, fake, fake!
    Cathay give nothing away, ever. They would/should have demanded to see a ‘fit to fly’ approval form which should have been certified by his doctor. They would have been totally within their rights to refuse boarding in the absence of approval.
    Oh, and this story does not deserve any oxygen from OMAAT. We have VFTW for than sort of trash.

  30. He’s a popular Youtuber. It’s for views…everyone don’t get your undies in a bunch. Maybe go play with your kids or read a book if this kind if stuff works you up.

  31. I’m sure the guy appreciates your coverage. He is a well known australian prankster. Way to give him the attention he soo desperately wants.

  32. Again double standards ! and why this blog is racing to the bottom
    Lucky you have long long been a fan boy of (JRL)Justin Ross lee whom scammed his way into the Qantas Singapore F lounge night less than 3 days ago
    I see no commentary from you ?
    Either way they are both douche types and this behaviour shouldn’t even make press

  33. Fake. Jamie is known for his prank videos especially with his dad. Wouldn’t be surprised if this is another one of them. Eye mask guy totally looks like his dad.

  34. Completely and obviously fake.

    1. Amcal+ does not carry “moon boots”, or any sports & injury support of that type.
    2. Whatever he asked for in the store, it was not for a “moon boot”. And the salesperson clearly pointed to some smaller Ear & Eye Care items.
    3. That was CX162 SYD-HKG, departing 10:55am and arriving 5:35pm (local times). It’s not a normal sleeping window. None of the other passengers slept except him and his father, who was faking along. https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Cathay_Pacific_Airways/Cathay_Pacific_Airways_A330_E_new.php
    4. He was in 21G while father was in 21D. The separating divider between the seats would have been up if they were strangers. Instead it was down. https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Cathay_Pacific_Airways/Cathay_Pacific_Airways_A330_E_new.php

  35. The sad reality of what makes viral videos these days. The stuff that appeals to most and the sense of victory for those making these videos. A sad generation. Look at the pride in which he announces his plan with his accomplice snickering in the background. These kids have a lot to learn. Or maybe not since they come from affluent families, maybe

    What is even more ridiculous is it was featured here on OMAAT and was more likely something you are forced to see on those pages whenever you open a browser window. Lucky for someone who takes immense pride in Cathay Pacific First Class you should not have encouraged this. Sad!!

  36. Fake. Just like that American Airlines pilot story a few months ago. All about attention.

    By the way, Lucky, whatever happened to that phony?

  37. Cathay Pacific employees had confirmed it’s a fake story.
    He “BOUGHT” class J (business class) and went to main cabin to film the video.
    He never got upgrade because he paid for business class. Whole crews knew he’s filming for pranking. He made up those conversations, crews never said those words.
    Lucky got pranked, it’s the real story.

  38. The real question is why do morons follow idiots like this on social media. (insert “ok boomer”…although i’m younger than a boomer but not by much)… I’ve never gotten the whole “influencer” “social media star” thing… The guy comes off as a douchebag. And yes.. it looks very fake.. as 99% of crap on social media is…

  39. I hope Cathay had nothing to do with this guy… in his IG page..he uses the #.. #nohomo… @Lucky… maybe you can use your contacts at Cx and probe about this guy? Get him banned?

  40. I am more amused at the reactions from various people on a so-called prank scripted for sensationalising,more than anything else.
    Add mine to the list as well.

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