Teen Stows Away in Cargo Hold Seeking Life of Riches as Beggar

Years ago the United.com website used to say that Mileage Plus members could upgrade to United Economy, Business, or First class. Presumably in order to upgrade to United Economy you had to be booked in United Cargo.

Very few frequent flyers have had the opportunity to compare the accommodations in cargo offered by various airlines.

One Chinese teen, though, reports that he found Emirates A380 cargo “comfortable.”

It just goes to show that Emirates A380s are comfortable in all classes of service.

The boy had stowed away on Emirates flight EK303 from Shanghai to Dubai. He spent the 4000 mile, 9 hour flight in the cargo hold.

The 16 year old boy from Bazhong City climbed a fence at the Shanghai airport and snuck into the plane’s cargo hold. The flight took off shortly after midnight and made the journey to Dubai where the young Mr. Xu planned to make his fortune.

On arrival he was arrested. He thought he’d get off light as a minor, and compared to his circumstances in China “was under the impression Dubai’s jails were comfortable.”

The stowaway had planned to earn his fortune by begging, because everything you read on the internet is true.

Posts claiming that beggars in Dubai could earn 9,000 dirham ($2,450) every day went viral online recently and many netizens joked that they would quit their jobs and beg in Dubai.

Of course begging is illegal in Dubai as well.

There’s no confirmation of rumors that in response to the 16 year old’s illegal immigration the UAE will build a wall and make China pay for it.

    The “Other” Great Wall, at Badaling

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sources confirmed the boy was left with few other choices after Alaska Mileage Plan’s shameful devaluation of Emirates awards without notice.

  2. Am I the only one who feels this is not a joke? If a 16 year old can get into Shanghai airport, somebody with malicious intentions can too..

  3. LOL! Yes this was a serious security breach but Gary’s comments are still funny nevertheless..
    I really admire this kid’s courage to stow away on a plane like this in order to seek a better life in another country.

  4. I’m with Roam on this one. If it’s so easy to get into a plane that a 16 year old kid could do it, then anyone with malicious intent could also do it. Why go through 2 hours of security theater when you can just hop a fence and stroll into the cargo hold.

  5. Upon reading this article, the executives at US airlines will now be inspired to create a new Stow Away Class that is even cheaper than Basic Economy: No seats, no service, no entertainment, no air conditioning, no snacks. The only perk is that you can sit on top of your check-in luggage.

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