A Welcome Disturbance? Singaporean Musician Goes Viral With easyJet Performance

A musician has caused a ruckus by serenading easyJet passengers with an inflight performance of Christian music – all with the Captain’s okay.


easyJet boarding airport apron
Photo: Joanna Bailey / Simple Flying

British low-cost airline easyJet is under fire for allowing a muso to wander the aisle inflight while serenading passengers with his guitar playing and taste in music. Social media platforms are running hot with footage of the incident and discussions of whether this was serious breach of inflight etiquette or an upgrade of easyJet’s run-of-the-mill inflight entertainment.

A little inflight entertainment with some serious fallout

So what’s the kerfuffle about? The exact flight details remain unknown, but a Singaporean musician named Jonathan Neo was recently filmed standing in the aisle with his guitar and singing (reportedly in six languages) on an easyJet plane. Some passengers were reportedly enthusiastic about the performance while others were distinctly unimpressed. It’s worth noting Mr Neo obtained the Captain’s permission to perform and was even introduced over the aircraft’s PA system.

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So the debate here is whether passengers should be allowed to enjoy their flight in peace or whether it is appropriate to impose someone else’s taste in entertainment on them. After all, on a crowded easyJet plane, there are not many escape options. In this case, there is also another level of etiquette complexity – Mr Neo was singing contemporary Christian songs.

Religious tone adds complexity to simple inflight etiquette issue

Online, folks seemed bothered that Mr Neo was using a captive audience to promote his religion. We’ll probably let discussions of the rights and wrongs of that go through to the keeper – Simple Flying reports on aviation news not social mores. But what would the reaction be if a political devotee got up inflight to spruik a particular politician or political agenda? Or an animal rights supporter began to stand in the aisle and start discussing the evils of eating meat while the flight attendants were busy offering passengers a choice of beef vindaloo or chicken casserole?

At its core, Mr Neo’s surprise performance (and the fact the easyJet Captain gave him the okay) is about respect for other people when you’re all crammed together in a tight space. You don’t need to be a frequent flyer to know deliberately disturbing other passengers really is not the done thing, whatever the reason. Mr Neo and the Captain should have been alive to that – regardless of their agendas.

Last year, easyJet also hit the headlines when soccer fans flying to Gatwick for a game between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium started singing Yes Sir, I Can Boogie (last year’s unofficial national song for Scots with a soccer bent) inflight. It was probably a far bit rowdier than Mr Neo’s more recent performance but caused less controversy because it was non-religious and frankly, other passengers automatically adjust their inflight expectations when confronted with a planeload of over-hyped and somewhat pissed Scottish soccer fans.

As for easyJet, they haven’t said much about their Captain and his green lighting of inflight musical performances. But if the airline (and other airlines) to ban any and all future impromptu inflight entertainment acts, then that would be a good outcome.


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