At a time when the skies seem to be filled with unruly passengers, it’s a pleasant surprise to see a passenger who reacts well when things don’t go their way.
Melbourne-based passenger Jameel Rehman was on a flight from Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD) to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) with his mother. According to Rehman, he had been given business class flight tickets by his employer as a reward for tech sales achievements.
As it was Rehman’s first time flying business class he decided to document the milestone experience and later uploaded the video footage to TikTok. In the beginning of the video, Rehman can be seen making a champagne toast with his mother, excited for the flight. The video shows Rehman seated in 1A.
Rehman claimed that less than 10 minutes after filming the clip Qantas staff told him he had been downgraded to economy because his business class seat had been “misengineered”.
“So I’d just been informed that I have to leave this seat in business class because it’s misengineered,” Rehman said good-naturedly in a second video clip.
Rehman explained that he would still receive all the perks of business class despite moving to economy. “But what do you do? At least I got to enjoy it [business class] for a brief second,” he said while packing his personal belongings.
“The staff are very apologetic, can’t really knock them,” he added, downing his glass of champagne before leaving his seat.
The next clip shows Rehman walking down the economy aisle to find his seat. Passenger chatter and an infant crying, the usual economy class background noise can be heard, but Rehman still seemed to be in high spirits.
“How the mighty have fallen,” Rehman jovially said as he settled into a row of three economy seats for the 10-hour flight.
Many praised Rehman for being a class act, with one calling him a true gentleman, and another saying that the short video shows why Rehman is number one in sales in his company and truly deserved the incentive.
Qantas told AeroTime that Rehman was given a downgrade refund and a AUD 500 ($328) travel voucher two days after the flight.
Qantas also explained that the technical issue with the business class seat was identified by one of its engineers during routine pre-departure checks.
“We know this would have been disappointing for Mr Rehman and we have apologized for the disruption caused to his journey. Safety is always our main priority and unfortunately a minor technical issue meant that this seat had to be kept vacant,” the airline said.