Airline Employee Posts YouTuber’s Passport on Facebook in Retribution for Poor Review

In his latest YouTube video, aviation vlogger Josh Cahill shares a pretty wild story of how he was treated by East Timor’s national airline Aero Dili. After getting food poisoning from a contaminated in-flight meal on an Aero Dili flight in September 2023, Cahill posted a video about the incident that garnered over 250,000 views. Instead of apologizing or addressing the issues, Aero Dili’s country manager, Acacio Mota, accused Cahill of demanding $50,000 cash and free flights in exchange for a positive review.

Even more disturbingly, to “prove” these absurd accusations, Mota posted a photo of Cahill’s passport on Facebook without his consent. One of Aero Dili’s pilots also openly threatened Josh online for his negative review.

Though the airline didn’t respond to a complaint Cahill made shortly after Mota’s Facebook post, East Timor law enforcement informed Cahill that the country has no data protection laws and that the Aero Dili country manager did nothing illegal by posting his passport online. 

This is scary

The most disturbing part of Cahill’s experience is East Timor’s response that Aero Dili violated no local laws by posting his passport online. If that’s true, what’s to stop the airline from leaking passengers’ credit card details too? I think Cahill is probably right to argue that an airline treating its passengers this poorly probably isn’t one that’s safe to fly.

I’m also wondering whether Aero Dili breached any IATA rules or regulations they’re bound to as a member airline. I suppose Aero Dili could argue that Cahill’s information was leaked by an employee in a private capacity, not as a representative of the company, but I’d be interested to hear a lawyer’s take on this.


While Cahill’s flair for drama might stoke some skepticism, the core of his complaint, if true, is concerning. Airlines have an ethical responsibility to protect customer data, and the sharing of a passenger’s passport details by an employee, whether in an official or private capacity, compromised Cahill’s identity security. Aero Dili’s lack of response to his complaints shows an inability or unwillingness to take any responsibility.

I’m not a lawyer, but if what happened was perfectly legal, airlines should probably be subject to stronger international consumer data protection rules at the international level, regardless of their country’s local laws. Whatever the case, this should serve as a warning for passengers to vet airlines thoroughly before assuming their personal information is in safe hands.

  1. Cahill is known for his dramatic YT videos. I don’t condone the airline for posting his passport, but the airline had a (spiteful) motive for doing it.. because Cahill started it!

  2. Ask Mr. Cahill about the airline employees who were fired because of him and his desire to play Norma Rae of the airline industry. The difference is he’s doing it for money and perks. Nothing is off limits to this guy. He destroyed those jobs for those people. Many of them may never have the opportunity for a job like that again. We have a name for people like Mr. Cahill in this Country. We call it Donald Trump.

  3. Mr. Cahill seems to attract drama everywhere he goes. His stories are sensationalistic and at times just plain ridiculous. He always seems to be the victim of some plot against him and he obviously instigates some of the situations he finds himself as part of. I’m not defending the actions of this airline out of East Timor but if a person decides to venture out into the world you do subject yourself to the laws of the Country you’re visiting, or lack thereof. Mr Cahill’s antics have been going on for years and the drama is the only thing that drives traffic to an otherwise boring YouTube channel. I’d encourage everyone to look at the overall theme of the clickbait captions on his YouTube channel. Nobody is that unlucky! I do have to give him credit for deceiving so many people for so long. Only Trump is better at the art of deception.

  4. Guy is clearly an attention seeking narcissist who loves to stir the pot to get clicks. Not smart to continue to provoke those in authoritarian nations like he does.

  5. While the airline manager’s action is disgusting, this Cahill guy has a history of tarnishing airlines’ reputation if the airline doesn’t pay him or offer him free flights. The modern day’s influencers widely vary in their disgusting behaviors, too. I am not a big fan of him

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