Adorable Baby Panda Flies in Passenger Seat to Japan, Wearing Diaper and Munching Bamboo!

A baby panda being sent from China to Japan was spotted in a passenger seat, instead of flying cargo. Seated beside its caregiver, it’s actually wearing a seat belt and diaper and is munching bamboo leaves as an inflight snack.

It’s not clear which flight this is, but surely it’s a charter. How else to explain that the panda is being allowed to sit in an exit row? It seems unlikely that this passenger received the exit row briefing, and acknowledged being ready and able to assist in the event of an emergency.

The story is being presented as new on Facebook and twitter, viewed millions of times, but I wonder if it’s actually old?

Pandas usually fly cargo, here’s one that went Los Angeles to Shanghai onboard a China Southern 777 and then onward to Chengdu before making the rest of the trip to Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan. It was taken from its parents at the San Diego Zoo. The Chinese government gets to decide where to send the kids of Pandas on loan elsewhere.

Koalas, on the other hand, have been known to fly Qantas first class.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. let’s hope this is an old story, o a charter, etc. I don’t want to sound like the “get off my lawn” guy, but these travel cute with an animal stories eventually lead to people bringing miniature horses on board as emotional comfort animals and abusing true ADA/ service animal laws. Just don’t. The airlines can make operational accomodations but animals need to be in cargo bay unless they meet the legal requirements of a service animal, which are very, very different than a $20 vest / certificate bought off the internet bullshit.

  2. If it wasn’t for the fact that the panda is much more well-behaved and intelligent, the “wearing diaper” think could have made people confuse him with diaper donnie trump.

  3. The only passenger that hasn’t used the wheelchair boarding scam on Southwest…

  4. Finally a better class of flyer! Never Drunk, never complains, never wears highly controversial clothing.

  5. I have had seatmates that I could barely tolerate, but this one is not too big, not to small, it is just right

  6. Which one would we prefer? A cute panda or a ‘crying the whole time’ baby? Let’s be honest here

  7. Love this post
    Is that the owner of Panda Express?
    Big smile
    but don’t want to share my row with any bear elephant giraffe Peacock etc
    Folks are big enough as it is

  8. When this Panda is returned from Japan to China, start a GoFundMe page so the Panda and handler can enjoy first-class travel and complimentary access to the frequent flyer lounge.

  9. @Captain Freedom, my heart cries for you. Poor thing do you usually have cheese with that whine?

  10. “Qantas first class”? Those seats (in the linked post) may look like what passes for first in the US, but they are in fact premium economy.

  11. 100% fake! The panda in the seat is obviously a stuffed toy. The way China values these animals, there’s absolutely no way they would be allowed to travel in this fashion, for the safety and security of the animal and the handlers. Really disappointing that you would post this fake nonsense.

  12. Pandas may look cute, but they’re not cuddly animals. They’re wild animals and act accordingly.

    Sometimes they’re stoned from eating certain vegetation.

    The worst thing is the mistreatment of other animals in Chinese zoos who don’t assemble enough iPhones, err bring in enough visitors.

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