Bizarre footage has emerged appearing to show a man holding up a commercial flight by persistently begging passengers for money.
The middle-aged man held out a plastic pouch and pleaded for help on board a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Shiraz, ignoring repeated requests from staff to sit down – reports Daily Pakistan.
Some passengers even gave the man money as he stood in the aisle of the plane and delayed take-off for more than a minute.
Footage filmed by a witness went viral on social media and has been viewed more than 25,000 times.
It shows the man standing in the aisle, pleading with passengers while holding the pouch.
A female member of staff approaches and says: ‘Sir, please have a seat. I understand you, sir, but we’re about to take off.’
He nods in response but remains standing and continues to stand in the aisle.
A male passenger then reaches across to offer the man some cash and puts several notes in his pouch.
As two more staff members urge the man to take a seat, someone else calls out to him and hands over more money.
The man was still stood surrounded by cabin crew when the footage cut out.
He has not been identified but is reported to be an Iranian national.
Social media viewers speculated as to whether he was a paying customer or had managed to sneak onboard.
AJ Amit Jadhav asked: ‘Who bought the ticket for him? And, best part, people are giving money too.’
Larsen De Souza said: ‘This is a joke. How did he manage to board the flight?’
Maria Rebello said: ‘One must not encourage begging either in buses, trains or anywhere else.’
A one-way flight between Doha and Shiraz, sitting in the most basic seat, costs about £400 with Qatar Airways.