Passenger Scams An Upgrades To Business Class Using An Orthopedic Boot He Bought At The Airport

There are tons of scams running at the airport every day. People looking for priority services just request wheelchairs even when there’s nothing wrong. And they’re looking to fake their way into business class.

I’ve seen plenty of people just sit themselves down in empty business class seats once the doors close, but I’ve always seen them politely excused from the cabin. Here’s a story though about when it actually worked.

A guy bought an orthopedic in an airport pharmacy and looked like he’d hurt himself and needed assistance to walk. Then he feigned difficulty sitting in his coach seat with the boot on. Cathay Pacific moved him up to business class.

At the end of the flight he walked off the plane without his boot on. Crew wished him speedy recovery for his ankle and he remarks “oh yeah I forgot about that.”

If indeed the story is true he’s lucky there was an open business class seat available. I’m skeptical of the claims in this video for several reasons.

  1. He could have been moved to a bulkhead seat if available. He could have been moved to premium economy, and a premium economy passenger moved up to business class.

  2. The filming of everything didn’t lead cabin crew to be skeptical though, like that this was planned in advance?

  3. A man in the video sleeping in business class looks like his father

Cathay Pacific Business Class

My guess is he was ticketed in business class all along. That doesn’t change that he was running an airport scam, though, it’s just that he was running it on us and not Cathay Pacific.

Cathay banned a passenger who used a fake letter to try to scam herself into business class. If this story is true then surely this passenger would be banned, too.

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. Nothing to see here … let’s all move on and not give the narcissist any more attention.

  2. Seems like content was plagiarized lock, stock and barrel from a forum post in Flyertalk

  3. @Junkiat Lee – that is a serious allegation and it is false. There was a FlyerTalk post about an Instagram post. I learned about the Instagram post from Flyertalk and *linked to* the post where I learned about it. And I offered my own commentary. Show the similar sentence structure or apologize.

    I will concede I had some similar and totally obvious reactions to the Instagram post as others. Where there was an original idea that didn’t occurred to me, that’s where I linked to the Flyertalk poster.

  4. I guess “they all look alike”, huh? re: “A man in the video sleeping in business class looks like his father”


    Also wasn’t this entire story on FlyerTalk?

  5. @FlyerTalkGuru4Lyfe – I linked to Flyertalk for the suggestion that the passenger beside him looked like his father based on other videos he’s posted

    The story was on Instagram before it was on Flyertalk by the way.

  6. Cathay Pacific should either publicly ban him, or if he *did* purchase the business seat, they should publicly out him as an internet fraud — if only to help discourage others from trying this.

  7. Regardless of whether this story is true or not, the idea is horrible: this is why, as a society, instead of trying to help each other when one is in need, we are all skeptical of everyone and everything.

    People like this guy reduce the society’s collective looking-after-each-other care factor. Terrible indeed.

  8. The guy is a well known australian prankster. Writing this article about him just gives him the publicity that he wants. Good job on feeding attention to this guy.

  9. karma will get this jerk — and when he has a real medical problem, he’ll be stuck in a cramped middle seat!

Comments are closed.