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Qatar Airways Allegedly Bans Popular YouTube Vlogger After He Posted a Negative Review of the Airline

Qatar Airways Allegedly Bans Popular YouTube Vlogger After He Posted a Negative Review of the Airline

a group of airplanes parked on a runway

Qatar Airways has allegedly banned a popular YouTuber after he posted a negative review of the Doha-based airline and then refused to remove it from social media in return for a free return flight to anywhere in the world.

Josh Cahill has made a living out of reviewing airlines, and in the last six years, says he has travelled on 185 different airlines on more than 650 flights, regularly chronicling his experiences with reviews posted on YouTube and Facebook.

The videomaker regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of views to his videos, although he has occasionally faced criticism for his colorful and sometimes dramatic video titles.

Several months ago, Cahill posted a video review he titled ‘The Shocking Decline of Qatar Airways’ following a flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka to London Heathrow with a connection in Doha.

Cahill listed a slew of issues with the two flights he took in Economy Class, which included old planes, dirty lavatories, and disinterested flight attendants who didn’t smile at him or greet him as he boarded the aircraft.

But the Youtuber also praised Qatar Airways for a ‘world-class’ seat on its Boeing 777 aircraft, cheap and fast inflight Wi-Fi and one particular member of cabin crew who provided good service.

Several days after posting the video, however, Cahill received a call from the airline’s corporate communications department. Senior managers wanted the conversation to be off the record, but Cahill refused and has now shared what was said in a new video that can be watched below.

YouTube / Josh Cahill

During the call, Cahill claimed airline representatives told him that they were concerned that the original video painted Qatar Airways in a bad light and offered to gift him a free flight if he were to delete the video.

When Cahill refused, the airline raised privacy concerns because the faces of some of the cabin crew could be seen in the video. They also asked him to delete a comment left by someone purporting to be a member of Qatar Airways cabin crew who raised serious issues about working conditions at the carrier.

Cahill again refused to delete the comment but said he was willing to post a response from the airline. Qatar Airways didn’t take up the offer.

Unable to get Cahill to remove the video, Qatar Airways allegedly went to YouTube with a privacy complaint. At the same time, Cahill received an email from a crew member who appeared in the original video asking for the video to be deleted because she never gave permission to be filmed.

The crew member allegedly told Cahill that she feared being terminated if she didn’t send the email.

In response to the privacy complaint, YouTube decided not to remove the video, but Cahill agreed to blur the faces of any airline staff who appeared in the video.

Unable to get the critical video removed, Qatar Airways then banned Cahill, referencing its contract of carriage, which states that passengers must not film onboard without express permission from the airline.

Cahill points out that he had never got permission to film before and that other popular YouTubers remain unbanned despite filming on Qatar Airways aircraft without permission.

An email sent from the airline’s customer service team informed Cahill that an upcoming booking had been cancelled and that the airline wouldn’t accept any future bookings from him.

In older videos, Cahill had lavished praise on Qatar Airways and had even met and interviewed former CEO Akbar Al Baker on several occasions. More recently, however, Cahill had become critical of the airline’s fleet management and a dispute with Airbus, which had forced it to keep operating much older aircraft.

Al Baker suddenly stepped down from his role last month after giving just two weeks’ notice of his intention to quit. The reason behind his unexpected departure is still not known.

The airline quickly replaced Al Baker with Eng. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, the former chief operations officer of Doha Hamad International Airport, who has promised to introduce a new “new era” at the airline in which “a culture of trust and empowerment will be the building blocks of our shared success.”

Several weeks into the job, Al Meer lifted a controversial nighttime curfew for cabin crew.

Qatar Airways did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

View Comments (6)
  • What if the airline insisted on this blog article to be removed or you would be banned for life?

    What if China insisted that all articles about Taiwan or EVA Air or Starlux or TPE based China Airlines refer to Taiwan as Taiwan, China or Taiwan, People’s Republic of China or you would be jailed if you ever stepped foot in China, would you delete it?

  • Good for Cahill and YouTube/Goigle. Censorship is a dangerous path. Nobody needs to fly Qatar as there are plenty of better choices from states that do not give shelter to terrorists and finance antisemitism.

    • Qatar Airways is awful.Most of the airport staff are
      Extremely rude, unhelpful, arrogant and unpleasant Indians.
      The service, the meals are mediocre.
      Their website is a joke, the codeshared flights with American are pure disaster – you can never check on line.
      From time to time you might receive an email to go to the nearest QR office to present your credit card for verification.Savages.Overblown glory.

  • I Guess we don’t have a freedom of choice so sad to hear that .I guess everyone have a Right speak about anything it’s call freedom of choice. Qatar Airways is one of the Best Airlines but still anything can be possible

  • Critics, whether positive or negative should be viewed positively if it’s not bias especially in business. It’s a chance for improvement. If the Airliner had other issue with the manufacturers, it’s understandable which led to fielding old planes, it’s acceptable. But their reaction was a bit wanting. Qatar is a high class airline. Keep it up.

  • Josh is an entertainer, not a journalist, as he doesn’t cite sources and uses innuendo. So long as you keep that in mind his video are informative.

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