Lie-flat hopefuls have tried to bat their eyes to an upgrade ever since the beginning of air travel. But – as one alleged influencer just revealed – some attempts to score a business-class seat are more effective than others.
On that note: being denied an upgrade sucks, but being kicked off your flight just for asking for one is not only humiliating; it’s unheard of. And while the less-brazen citizens of the world may see this scenario as so unlikely as to be impossible, the influencer of the hour has just proved it is not.
As travel advice agency Elliott Advocacy reported earlier this week, a small-time influencer recently had her upgrade request denied by Cathay Pacific check-in agents, and was then kicked her off the flight, accused of fraud and banned from all future Cathay Pacific flights.
Although the influencer claims she did nothing wrong, the severity of Cathay Pacific’s response suggests she was up to something shady. Here’s how it went down.
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As reported by The Sun, the alleged influencer, “claims she was sent an email which allowed her an upgrade from premium economy [to business],” after she emailed Cathay Pacific asking for an upgrade on her return Taiwan to New York ticket.
After this, she received an email “confirming that I was eligible for a business class seat” if tickets were available at check-in, she claimed.
When she got to the airport in Taiwan, however, her request was refused. So far so unpromising. The influencer then – not able to take a hint – tried again to show her (allegedly) fake email on her return journey, this time getting a lot more than she bargained for…
“She said that she waited at check-in for 30 minutes, after which a member of staff accused her of trying to get an upgrade with a fake email… They then cancelled her ticket, citing fraud, and banned her from ever flying with the airline,” (The Sun).
The influencer then told travel advice agency Elliott Advocacy: “[The supervisor] proceeded to give me a ‘refusal of carriage letter.'”
“He stated that security said that Cathay Pacific did not send that email and that I had committed fraud.”
The influencer then to pay another $1,400 (£1,132) to get back to Taiwan on a separate airline. She then contacted Cathay Pacific to sort out the “misunderstanding” (and hoping for a refund on the flight home), only for Cathay Pacific to confirm the email she tried to wrangle an upgrade with was fraudulent (or at least, didn’t come from them).
“Cathay Pacific refunded her original flight ticket, but had reviewed the case and maintained their decision [to ban her].”
While the influencer now appears set to sue the airline in an attempt to prove she didn’t create the fraudulent documents, unless someone elaborately trolled her, it’s hard to believe she didn’t…
Edit: The influencer contacted D’Marge and their name has been removed at request.