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Monique Curet
By Monique Curet November 15, 2021

Viral video aboard airplane is a fictional film

If Your Time is short

The video is a fictional film featuring professional actors. 

A viral video of an unruly airline passenger railing at a flight attendant seems perfectly plausible, since similar scenes have unfolded so many times during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This time, though, the scene was fictional.

A Facebook post shows footage of an irate airline passenger who demanded a different seat away from an unvaccinated passenger and was asked to leave the airplane. The video gives the appearance of having been filmed by a bystander during a real event, and the caption says, "Round of applaud (sic) to the flight crew," with an emoji of hands clapping.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

But the video is a fictional film featuring professional actors. It was shot on a plane that is offered for rent for film and drama productions.

The three-minute film, titled "COVID flight," was released Nov. 1, 2021, according to IMDb, an online database of films. Diana Winter is listed as the actress who portrays the irate passenger. The executive director, Prince Ea, has 18 million followers on Facebook and has made other viral videos.

In the video, a maskless Winter tells an actress portraying a flight attendant that she won’t sit in her assigned seat since, "It’s not safe here," and that her seatmate should be moved because he does not have a "vaccine card." Eventually, an actor portraying the airplane’s captain — Sean Pogmore, according to IMBd — tells Winter that everyone needs to respect each other and she should leave the aircraft, as other "passengers" applaud.

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The interior of the plane in the video matches those used by JARE Airline Training of Dorset, England, which rents planes for use in film and drama productions. JARE’s website features an Oct. 27, 2021, comment from Jamie Hull-Greenwood, identified on IMDb as the director of "Covid Flight." Hull-Greenwood is quoted as saying, "The B737 was a fantastic and wonderful space to make a film, it was perfect and can’t get any better — the aircraft was perfect — thank you very much."

JARE Airline Training’s founding director told CNN that the viral video "is definitely the result of filming by our friends from JPC Film," which is listed on IMBd as the production company for "COVID flight."

Social media users shared the movie as if it depicted a real event. Prince Ea, the executive director, initially shared the post on Facebook with a caption that said, "SHE MUST HAVE BEEN HAVING A BAD DAY," and did not indicate that the video was staged, Rolling Stone reported.

His Facebook caption was later edited to add, "For entertainment purposes," but that language is not included on every version of the video that’s been shared on social media. Prince Ea’s Facebook post had 24 million views as of Nov. 15.

Our ruling

A Facebook post shows video footage of an irate airline passenger who demanded a different seat away from an unvaccinated passenger and was asked to leave the airplane. The video was shared across social media as if it depicted a real event.

The video, however, is a fictional film titled "Covid Flight" that features professional actors. "Covid Flight" is listed on IMDb, an online database of films, and the actors who play the passenger and the airplane captain are identified.

We rate this claim False. 

 

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