If you feel as if you’ve seen an influx of “viral videos” showing people “fighting” on planes recently, you’re right. From racist encounters and debates about plane etiquette to the introduction of “skiplagging” and unusual seating arrangements, TikTok especially seems to be the go-to platform for sharing plane-related antics.
According to comedian and actor Chris Grace (@chrisgracecomedy), however, they might not all be authentic. In fact, Grace claimed in a video of his own that there’s something specific that viewers should look for in plane videos before sharing the link.
In a TikTok with 461,000 views so far, Grace explained that a strip of blue lights above passengers’ heads, as seen in the videos, indicates they’re all being filmed on a fake airplane set.
“Repeat after me: If you see these blue lights, the video ain’t right,” Grace said.
Grace claimed that the blue lights are part of an industry airplane set that’s available for rent, so the videos are staged and filmed specifically to go viral.
“It’s a set you can rent on Peerspace in La,” claimed @nikiareneecosplay in the video’s comment section.
Peerspace does indeed have several commercial airplane sets for rent, although the currently listed photos online do not show blue LED lights. One set, for instance, is located in Atlanta, Ga., and is available to rent for $950 an hour. A similar airplane interior rents for $100 an hour in Seattle, Wash.
One of the videos that Grace specifically referenced in his own TikTok centered on a video of a man allegedly picking a fight with a single mom after her child repeatedly kicked the back of his seat. Posted on Facebook, the video received 13 million views. In it, a strip of blue lights running above the passengers’ heads is clearly visible.
The video depicts a man growing increasingly frustrated at the child as his seatmate, a blond woman, urges him to calm down.
“He’s just a kid,” she said, grabbing the man’s arm. Eventually, the man turns around and asks the mother if she can “get her kid under control.”
“If that was my kid, he would be behaving,” the man added before the pair started loudly arguing.
As several commenters pointed out, there seem to be moments where both the man and the kid look at the person filming. This doesn’t automatically mean the video is fake because if a stranger pulled their phone out, it might make people feel self-conscious. But viewers remained unconvinced.
“Fake and I don’t like it,” one person wrote. “We have enough issues with people acting out on airlines and race relations for you to be adding a fake ones. As loud as they were no fake cap wearing pilot would have come back to talk to the boy without first addressing the mother.”
“This is so fake and y’all really on here mad,” another commenter said, referring to the debate happening in the comment sections over who was right.
In Grace’s second example — a video titled “transgender man gets upset” on TikTok — a passenger allegedly filmed a flight attendant insulting a transgender man. The blue lights again are visible.
“There’s only one man standing in this aisle right now,” the alleged flight attendant says in the video. “Now sit down, Little Miss.”
Unlike the child-kicking-chair video, most of the comments on this TikTok called out the video as a fake.
“This is not a real video,” wrote @gayinfluencer in the very first comment.
“Oh, look! a fake airplane scenario!” noted @alanatei34 with a facepalm emoji for effect.
“Even if the blue lights weren’t there, the acting is atrocious,” added @egraciegrace2020, appearing to back up Grace’s blue light claim.
Along with the inauthenticity of these plane videos, Grace also called out anyone who would purposefully stage and share a video centering on sensitive issues.
“If you’re a person who uses important issues like trans rights or racism to make fake videos to troll for clicks, you are a scumbag,” he said.
Some commenters debated whether this tip was helpful or not. According to recent travelers, a lot of plane interiors have LED lights.
“Southwest has blue lights like that, I flew last month and was surprised by the led lights everywhere,” claimed @riel.belle.
“JetBlue flights have those blue lights….” added @lucid2.k.
A member of the Infinite Flight Community, an online forum dedicated to building out accurate flight simulators, posted a recent photo of a JetBlue cabin in April and complimented its blue mood lighting. While it’s only one example of JetBlue’s lights, they differ from those Grace pointed out in the two TikToks.
A YouTube account uploaded footage of the interior of a Southwest Airlines flight in February, and, again, the blue lights look different from the ones in the videos.
Lights aside, commenters also pointed out other things that indicate a video might be staged.
“I can always tell too because the spacing of the chairs to the camera is way too big to be a real plane, it’s not compact enough,” said @rilarue.
“Omg THANK YOU. and they also have some livingroom arm chairs as seats lmao and the acting is so bad,” pointed out @headless_torso.
“Don’t forget the excellent camera quality,” noted @youre_or_your.
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