UPS Brings Refugees into the Country on Cargo Flights-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A viral video claims that UPS brought refugees into the country on a cargo flight that landed in Pennsylvania.
Rumors that UPS snuck refugees into the country on a cargo flight that landed in Pennsylvania are false.
That rumor started with a three-minute video posted on Facebook. The video begins by showing the back of a charter bus on a highway at night. A man following behind and narrating the video says that a number of charter buses lined up outside a UPS parcel flight at Harrisburg International Airport and loaded up passengers:
“These buses, there about 30 of them, were lined up on the outside of a UPS flight out of Harrisburg International Airport. That is a parcel flight. Why are hundreds of people being snuck in on a UPS flight? This is no lie. We caught them red handed,” the narrator says.
The video had more than 131,000 views 10 days after it was posted on November 9, 2015. After the terrorist attacks on Paris and public debate on admitting Syrian refugees into the U.S. that followed, the video quickly went viral. Other versions also popped up on YouTube claiming that busloads of refugees had been brought into Pennsylvania on a UPS cargo flight.
A UPS spokesperson told TruthorFiction.com that the rumor is “erroneous.”
“UPS is a cargo airline and has not been involved in passenger flights of any kind into or out of Harrisburg. Suggestions to the contrary are based on misinformation,” Susan Rosenberg, UPS public relations director, told us.
The video doesn’t provide any hard evidence or proof to contradict UPS’s claim, either. After all, it only shows is the back of a charter bus driving on a highway at night. The narrator claims that buses were parked beside a UPS cargo flight, but there’s no video (or proof) that that actually happened. The narrator also says there were “about 30” charter buses driving down the road, but only one or two buses are visible in the video. Also, the numbers don’t seem to check out: there couldn’t be enough people on one cargo flight to fill up 30 charter buses.
Also, the way that UPS uses Harrisburg International Airport in the normal course of business doesn’t jive with the video’s claims. We confirmed that UPS does in fact use Harrisburg International Airport on a regular basis — but we quickly learned that international flights rarely (if ever) fly directly into Harrisburg International Airport from outside the country.
UPS moves about 22,800 tons of cargo through the airport each year. Because there are many warehouses and manufacturers in the region, the vast majority of cargo is outbound rather than inbound. Most often, UPS flies cargo into Harrisburg from airports in Williamsport and Scranton. Then, it’s combined with cargo brought in on trucks, and UPS flights depart from Harrisburg to Worldport, the company’s main air hub, in Louisville, according to Harrisburg International Airport.
So, in the normal course of business, international UPS flights don’t fly directly into Harrisburg International Airport from outside the country. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen, or hasn’t happened.
We’re classifying claims that UPS brought refugees into the country on a cargo plane as fiction. First, the company has directly denied that claim. Second, the viral video shows no proof, other than the back of a nondescript charter bus. Third, it appears that the vast majority of UPS flights fly into Harrisburg from other parts of Pennsylvania (not outside the country), and then depart for Louisville.