Will Fly For Food: Footage Shows Man Begging On A Plane

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Air travel has been somewhat democratized in recent years, as lower fares, low-cost carriers and a growing middle class in emerging nations has opened flying to broader range of people.

That said, you don’t normally see passengers walking the aisle asking for spare change.

 Until now. Online video footage has surfaced showing a wandering beggar operating on a plane -- reportedly a Qatar Airways flight -- holding out a plastic pouch to collect money.

The identity of the man is unknown but he was reported to be an Iranian national.

Beggars are not unknown on trains in Europe, moving quickly to keep one step ahead of the authorities. But they are seldom seen in the air, perhaps because it’s impossible to beat a hasty retreat.

This middle-aged beggar – apparently, a paying passenger -- stood in the aisle asking passengers persistently for money. A few gave him cash. 

The odd incident happened aboard a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Shiraz, and the man ignored repeated requests from cabin crew to sit down. Takeoff was delayed for a short time while the begging continued.

Witness Osman Naeem filmed the scene and shared it on social media.

A flight attendant approaches and tells the beggar: “Sir, please have a seat. I understand you, sir, but we’re about to take off.”

The beggar nods and continues to beg.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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