Did Cuban Refugees Sneak into the US Onboard Air Force One? What, Are You Insane?

In light of President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba, The Onion covered Air Force One’s return flight with ‘hundreds of Cuban refugees’ clinging to the plane.

Some of the People Weren’t Able to Hang On…

The scary thing? Plenty of people believed this was real. But then they believe what they read in the National Enquirer, like that Ted Cruz could be having five affairs. With actual women (not even one of whom is an imaginary Michelle Pfeiffer in The Russia House). Because people are dumb.

Snopes actually had to debunk this because people thought it was true.

A humorous item published by The Onion led many readers to believe that Cubans actually attempted to flee their country by grabbing onto President Obama’s departing plane.

Of course the reason we know it’s a hoax is because passengers could have simply bought a ticket for the flight since the Air Force has turned to JetSmarter to sell excess capacity.

“It no longer makes sense financially to let one passenger dictate when and where we travel,” acting Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said in a press conference at the Pentagon, the Air Force’s corporate headquarters in Arlington, VA. “We’ve got a big plane here, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be filling it.”

…In addition to retooling the interior, the Air Force has also instituted new fees to stay competitive and cut costs. Passengers bringing extra luggage items on board, such as fishing gear or a Scottish terrier, will be subject to a fee of $25. Nonalcoholic beer, the most popular beverage on Air Force One for most of the past decade, is no longer free, but sold at $3 a bottle. Customers, however, can now choose to pay $98 a year to skip the hassle of going through the security measures required on standard carriers.

Well that and it’s pretty improbable to survive unprotected at altitude even if you could hang onto the wing. Which is why stowaways in wheel wells usually die.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. We need more onion article like this. Once the dumb nits have identified themselves they should lose the right to vote and Congress should pass a law that makes legal to castrate these people.

    Imagine, these dumb people choose the person who will have the nuclear codes.

  2. If only one of the refugees would have had a camera, the Onion could run a “View from the Wing” piece as a followup.

  3. Contrary to what the tweeters claimed, if any Cubans had managed to hang on to Air Force One and reach the US, their illegal entry would have been immediately excused by law (paroled without ever having to go to jail), would be immediately entitled to work and receive government benefits, and they would be automatically entitled to become legal residents of the US after one year. When certain US Senators decry illegal immigration, they are referring to illegal immigration from every country except the country that their families came from.

  4. The American education system is surely the worst in the developed world. The fact that the most stupid and ignorant are big Republican Party (or even worse, Tea Party) supporters speaks volumes. Who would vote for the party least likely to improve their miserable lives, while further enriching the top 1% at their expense? Defies all rational thinking.

  5. Credit, you are truly an awful, frightening person. Castration for people who don’t live up to your lofty standards or dare to disagree with your brilliant opinions…..how progressive. You are truly the worst kind of smug, obnoxious liberal as you have no idea how f’ing stupid and clueless you actually are. Let me guess, you support the grifter, bankster-owned, war monger Clinton?

    GlennT, again immediately flinging insults while making an incoherent point. In the past 7 years with a Dem President and a Dem majority in Congress for 6 of those years, the income inequality levels have risen dramatically in the US. During this Dem administration, his signature legislation was written by the health care industry and now Obama is trying to push the job & wage killing TPP legislation that even many in his own party don’t favor. Oh, but his attorney general did prosecute nearly 500 banksters for the financial fraud of the century….oh, that’s right, Holder actually prosecuted NO ONE. The point is that people like you, who still think there is one bit of difference between the Donkey party and the Elephant party, are the real morons. Today, both parties represent their corporate masters, period.

    Oh and Gary, thank you for turning your blog into this cheap-shot, poli-sci crap. I’m done. Three year follower but I can’t do it anymore.

  6. @RoloT:

    6 year Dem majority in congress, eh?

    It’s clear what the problem is.


    Math is the problem.

    Because in no universe does 2=6.

    Maybe you’re unclear what “congress” is. The word “Congress” is used to refer to both Senate and House of Representatives, collectively. For the first two years of Obama’s first term, both the Senate and House had Dem majorities. Since then, the House has been resoundingly under GOP control and has, effectively, blocked very nearly every White House initiative, as is their right.

    So, hey, complain and bellyache, but please try to base your critiques in fact. Doing so both enhances their value and could make you seem brighter.

  7. All the screaming, name calling, misunderstanding of facts. What the article in the Onion was about was Cubans clinging to the wing of Air Force One while ‘fleeing’ Cuba. When was the last time you heard or read about people ‘fleeing’ the US? Think about your protected rights to just publicly disagree with anyone, including the president and then hold that thought while you think of why Cubans want to flee their country.

  8. @roloT

    Your standard bearer says whatever he wants with no filter and you have no problem but you throw a fit when I say something. Haha the hypocrisy is astounding. I didn’t bring any politics in my initial comment. No mention of any affiliation.

    Trump is the best thing to happen to this country. He has brought the smelly festering scum hiding in the Republican party out in the open. We need the same on the democrats side too. I actually dislike everyone on the presidential roster currently but the Republican ones are truly despicable.

  9. Anyone who believed this was true should be hospitalized, because they are clearly not fit to take care of themselves mentally.

  10. @malthus, My mistake. I should have noted that Obama had a Dem majority in the 111th Congress (and Senate) only. There was a Dem majority in the Senate for the first six years of the Obama administration. Funny you didn’t note that while zinging me for my mistake.

    Those facts don’t alter the point I was attempting to make. There is very little difference between the Red team or the Blue team and when it comes to supporting the MIC’s never-ending wars and serving the corporatocracy, there is no difference. The sowner all of us 99.5%ers realize that, they better we’ll all be.

  11. @credit, I suspect we are closer aligned in our thinking than you realize. My apologies for the name calling. FYI, I will be sitting this Pres election out as my own very minor protest of the poor options presented to the voters from both parties.

  12. You will find that National Enquirer has very expensive lawyers who vet every story. They do not get sued and lose as you might expect. They get sued, but they win. You never see that in the mainstream media, they report the suits but not the outcomes. Show me a case they have lost in the last 10 years….
    You will note they broke the Tiger Woods story and of course Edwards and many others. I don’t lean towards Trump or Cruz, but I will bet you a first class passenger meal that National Enquirer ends up being right about this.

  13. @chipper they also make very nuanced and weasel-like claims to avoid suits

    Of course there have been a few things that turned out true, most have not, or at least never panned out like all the Obama sex and divorce scandals, Hillary with 6 months to live, Bill Clinton and space aliens, and on and on. [Whatever happened to the Palin sex scandal they promised???]

    Point is, being in the enquirer doesn’t alone make something NOT true. But being there doesn’t make it any more likely to BE true it seems.

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