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There are easier ways to upgrade than impersonating a pilot

by on Thu March 21, 2013 • No Comment
Look like an Air France pilot? (Courtesy Fox 29 Philadelphia)

Look like an Air France pilot? (Courtesy Fox 29 Philadelphia)

A US Airways passenger on a flight from Philadelphia to Paris decided to impersonate an Air France pilot this week.

His goal – to get upgraded to business class.

The result – an arrest, time in prison, and likely charges from the FBI.

What happened?

According to Fox 29 Philadelphia, Phillipe Jemnard fabricated his own Air France pilot costume  – complete with black blazer and gold trim, along with an Air France branded shirt. We’re not sure how convincing it was, as his first act was to ask for (and be denied) an upgrade to business class at the gate. Off duty pilots are eligible for upgraded travel on other airlines, though with some formalities involved.

When that didn’t happen, he shouted about his contempt for Americans, boarded the flight and proceeded to sit down…

In the cockpit guest jumpseat (the cockpit door is always open during boarding).

There, he couldn’t figure out how to make the jumpseat work, and the real pilot asked if he had his paperwork filled out.

This led to more outbursts, and him getting escorted off the flight into authorities’ hands. All in the name of escaping economy class.

We doubt there was ever any real security risk – before leaving the gate the jumpseat list would have been handed to the pilot by the gate agent and he would have been found out.

But we have to ask – why spend hundreds of dollars on a costume?

Upgrading to business class on US Airways isn’t that hard…

It costs just 30,000 miles and $300 for a flight to Europe.

Those 30,000 miles are covered with the bonus offer from the US Airways Dividend Miles World MasterCard.

And the $300…well ruining a French blazer was probably a $200+ exercise for starters.


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