An Australian influencer has copped a swathe of criticism after wearing a moon boot to successfully con airline staff into a free business-class upgrade.
Jamie Zhu, who has 1.1 million followers on Instagram and over 700,000 YouTube subscribers, posted a video of his trick on both platforms earlier this month.
The influencer claimed he had “a very long flight ahead” with Cathay Pacific and wanted to see if he could be upgraded from economy to business for free. So, Zhu bought a moon boot at an airport pharmacy and wore it on the plane, pretending he had a broken ankle.
After struggling to fit into his cattle-class seat with the moon boot, the video shows Zhu calling for assistance from Cathay Pacific cabin crew and asking if he can have another seat. And, just as he’d hoped, airline staff gave him an upgrade.
Full of confidence, Zhu took the moon boot off while kicking back in business class, and even walked off the plane without it on while a flight attendant can be seen saying to him, “I hope your ankle gets better”.
But while the Aussie influencer thought his trick was pretty clever, the video he posted on YouTube has so far garnered almost double the amount of dislikes (4,000) as there are likes (2,100), along with a string of negative comments. Here are just some of them below:
“Shame on you! My daughter is a flight attendant and you are taking advantage of their goodwill to try and help those in need.”
“So, you committed fraud and posted the whole act here? This should be handy in court.”
“His act is no different than shoplifting or stealing, and he should be prosecuted accordingly. That was not an entertaining act.”
“Send him a bill for the upgrade, please. This is fraud.”
“Loser. I spent weeks in a boot for surgery. Disabilities are not something to prank about!!!”
“Hope you’re arrested and charged with fraud. It’s people like you that make the lives of honest people more difficult. Scumbag.”
“He exposed himself as just a privileged punk.”
“I really do hope Cathay sees this and puts him on a blacklist.”
Travel Weekly has contacted Cathay Pacific for comment.