A Spirit Doll May Be Your Neighbour On Your Next Thai Flight

Well, at least it won’t cry

If having a screaming child next to you on a flight bugs you, what about this: One that’s really, really silent.

That’s what you may come across the next time you fly Thai Smile Airways, which recently released an internal memo instructing its staff to allow passengers to buy seats for their spirit dolls. The memo has since gone viral and been picked up by both Thai and global media.

These dolls, known as Luk Thep, are treated by their owners as real kids as they’ve gone through spiritual rituals to “invite” a child’s spirit into them and can apparently bring good fortune. They gained popularity across the deeply superstitious nation after several Thai celebrities posted on social media about them, saying the dolls had helped their careers.

Thai Smile reportedly introduced the guidelines after owners complained of their “children” being regarded as carry-on luggage. Now, if customers pay for seats for them, the dolls will be treated like human passengers and be served food and drinks (though they won’t be allowed to sit in exit rows).

While no other airline has so far implemented a similar policy, another group is on the lookout for these dolls: The police. Yesterday, cops at Chiang Mai Airport caught a passenger trying to smuggle 200 tablets of yaba, a Thai methamphetamine, in a Luk Thep that was packed into a suitcase. Guess that one was out of luck.

Photo: yuuka_music_lover via Instagram 

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