Airline shuts down YouTube prankster who claims he illegally smuggled himself on flight inside a suitcase
A YouTuber illegally smuggling himself onto a plane in Australia in a suitcase would be an unbelievably bold, if not utterly brazen, stunt. Except that wasn't what really happened.
Vlogger Adam Saleh, who is known for his serial pranks and describes himself as a "professional idiot", posted a video which he claimed showed him flying from Melbourne to Sydney hidden inside his luggage on a Tigerair flight.
The video appears to show two men wheeling a suitcase with Saleh inside to the automated check-in area at Melbourne Airport, where they appear to pay an overweight fee and then watch the bag disappear down the conveyor belt.
Saleh also appears to film himself from his suitcase during the journey, saying: "This is the craziest thing I've done." You can even see the sweat dripping down his face.
But Tigerair confirmed in a statement that the video is a fake, saying: "The footage is not genuine and we have requested that the footage be removed as a consequence."
In an open letter to Saleh, which the airline says was posted on his social media channels but has been removed or hidden from public view, Tigerair points out all the "little inconsistencies" in the footage that "don't line up with reality".
The first inconsistency, it says, is the fact that the automatic baggage drop machines allow a maximum of 32kg per piece. The video shows the suitcase in question weighing more than twice the amount.
Secondly, the temperatures in the baggage hold can get pretty cold at 36,000ft and Tigerair says Saleh "would have been a popsicle" by the time he arrived in Sydney.
Then there's the smoking gun. Tigerair tells Saleh: "We have footage of you boarding the aircraft (using your legs) and can confirm your boarding pass was scanned correctly for your flight."
The airline has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Meanwhile, Melbourne Airport issued a statement to say airports are not "appropriate targets for humour".
They added: "Whilst this video is clearly a publicity stunt, it promotes behaviours that are dangerous and life-threatening.
"Security screening is a highly regulated facet of Australian airport operations, and multi-layered systems are designed to protect human safety and prevent attempts such as this from being successful."
The 11-minute video has garnered more than 350,000 views since it was published on Tuesday.
Saleh did not immediately respond to comment at the time of publication.