South Sudanese Canadian and former child-soldier Emmanuel Jal has been banned for life from boarding WestJet flights after he claimed he had a ‘licence to eat humans’ and threatened to ‘eat’ a member of the crew mid-flight if he was not given more food.
In the statement published on the website of the Canadian low-cost carrier and circulating across all major international airports, WestJet lamented the on board behaviour of the former child-soldier, saying that WestJet flights are not to be confused with airborne feeding centres. The carrier, the statement added, is a reputable carrier in the business of flying passengers from one point to another – and no one has shown that level of starvation before in their flights.
“We understanding that the person in question had starved for many years when he was a child, but – to clarify some confusion that he may have – WestJet is not the World Food Programme (WFP) and the food we serve aboard is more than enough to get our normal passengers to their next destination where they can buy and eat as much as they can in the many restaurants when they arrive at their destination.”
The air hostess who was attending to Mr. Jal at the time, has been admitted to an undisclosed hospital for further psychological and physical analysis. She is said to have been traumatized and in a state of shock after the experience.
Although her conditional is not life threatening, the threat to be eaten by a scary-looking person is enough to leave a nasty, life-lasting unrepairable scar on her confidence, experts say.
A few hours prior to the release of the statement, Emmanuel Jal posted a video on his Facebook page – much to the dismay of the family of the victim – calling the encounter ‘funny’.
It is yet unclear whether the victim and her family, or the Canadian carrier will pursue further legal measures against Emmanuel Jal.
No statement or fundraising appeals to pay for the extra sandwich has yet been made by Emmanuel Jal or any of the many organizations he represents.
On his Facebook fan page, messages of solidarity have started to pour in. Some fans are pleading with him not to attempt to walk for thousands of miles to another country (like he did when he was a child-soldier) now that he is persona non grata with WestJet and affiliates.
Others believe WestJet’s ban is a bit too harsh for a silly and a not-so-funny joke by someone like Emmanuel Jal who has a long and sad history of starvation. According to some, he cannot be blamed for getting accustomed to being feed every time he says he wants food.
“Emmanuel Jal is the victim here,” one fan said.
Here is the video