Fact Check: It's Claimed Taylor Swift's Private Jet Was Spray-Painted Orange by Just Stop Oil. Here's the Truth



A video shows Taylor Swift's private jet being spray-painted orange by Just Stop Oil climate activists in the U.K.


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On June 20, 2024, two climate activists from the British environmental activist group Just Stop Oil reportedly used a circular saw to cut through a fence at the private airfield of London Stansted Airport in Essex, U.K. By their own accounts, they then vandalized two private jets using fire extinguishers filled with orange paint. Social media buzzed with claims that one of the jets belonged to pop star Taylor Swift, but this turned out to be false.

Just Stop Oil posted a video of the incident on its X account, showing the apparent vandalism of the two aircraft and asking for donations. The video received over 6 million views as of this writing and included the following message:


🔥Jennifer and Cole cut the fence into the private airfield at Stansted where

@taylorswift13's jet is parked, demanding an emergency treaty to end fossil fuels by 2030.

That post did not explicitly claim that Swift's jet, a Dassault Falcon 7X, was vandalized, but social media quickly spread the false assertion. For instance, a post from the X account Visegrád 24 claimed, "Taylor Swift's private jet has been spray painted orange by 'Just Stop Oil' activists," receiving 2.1 million views as of this writing.

Meanwhile, the X account i newspaper — in a post that received 300,000 views as of this writing — made a similar assertion, incorrectly stating that "Just Stop Oil have targeted Taylor Swift's private jet in a spray-paint protest at Stansted Airport."

India's Free Press Journal also made a similarly false assertion that "one of the aircraft targeted was a private jet registered to Taylor Swift."

The activists, Jennifer Kowalski, 28, and Cole Macdonald, 22, claimed responsibility for the vandalism, and were reportedly arrested and charged with criminal damage, aggravated trespass and interfering with national infrastructure.

Despite the misleading social media posts, multiple news reports and local authorities confirmed that Swift's jet was not among the damaged aircraft. Just Stop Oil's X post did not explicitly state that Swift's jet was spray-painted but mentioned the timing and location in a way that may have contributed to the confusion.

Kowalkski and Macdonald delivered a message on camera while at Stansted, with the damaged jets in the background:

Jenn: "Hi, I'm Jenn and this is Cole. We just spray painted the [expletive] out of this jet."

Cole: "And the one behind it."


Cole: "My name is Cole, I'm 22, and I've just sprayed two private jets orange. We need an international treaty against the burning of all oil, coal and gas. While people are starving, the elite and the rich fly thousands and thousands of feet in the air above us all. Billionaires are not untouchable."

Attempts to contact Kowalkski and Macdonald online were unsuccessful.

Flight Tracking Data Located Swift's Private Jet

Flight tracking data and news reports showed that Swift's Falcon 7X jet landed at Stansted around 11 p.m. the previous night, June 19. Local Essex Police and a Stansted Airport representative told journalists in the U.K. that Swift's jet was not at the airfield during the protest, though its exact location was unclear.

Snopes reached out to Swift's representatives, who did not immediately respond.

Snopes spoke with an officer of the Essex Police, who confirmed that Swift's private jet was not among the two aircraft that were allegedly damaged by the climate activists, informing us that "we understood through our own communication with the airport that [Swift's private jet] wasn't there [at the time of the alleged incident], but we can't say one way or the other. ... We don't know the comings and goings of private citizens."

A news release from Essex Police, dated Saturday, June 22, 2024, did not mention Swift or her private jet, but did note that the two accused women had appeared in court earlier that day. Per Essex Police:

Two women charged as part of our response to an incident in the private area of an airfield at Stansted Airport have appeared in court.

Cole Macdonald and Jennifer Kowalski were denied bail and remanded into custody during a hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court earlier today, Saturday 22 June.

Both women denied three charges and will next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on July 22.

Our investigation was launched early on Thursday 20 June after we were alerted to reports of two people having gained access to an area which is away from the runway and main passenger terminal, before causing damage to two aircraft.

As a result of our preparedness for incidents of this kind, officers were on the scene quickly and two people were arrested within nine minutes from the moment of the call being made to us.

As of this writing, Essex Police had not updated information regarding Macdonald and Kowalski's release from custody.

A representative of Stansted Airport confirmed to Snopes that the incident took place in a private aviation area of the airport that is not controlled by Stansted. According to the rep, "These operators do not divulge details of any clients they may have, for security and confidentiality reasons."  

According to citizen-operated flight tracking data websites — which use publicly available flight data that the climate activists reportedly also used to track Swift's jet to its location at Stansted — the singer's Falcon 7X took off from Warwick, Rhode Island, on June 19 and landed in the U.K. that evening. Per flight tracking website TS Jet Tracker, her jet had not left Stansted and remained at the airfield when the spray-paining incident occurred, contradicting the reports from Stansted representatives and Essex Police.

(TS Jet Tracker)

Jack Sweeney, the creator of the TS Jet Tracker website (who has found notoriety with his social media accounts tracking the private jet usage of celebrities including Swift and Elon Musk), denounced the apparent actions of Macdonald and Kowalski. Responding to the false social media claims regarding the alleged vandalization of Swift's jet, Sweeney wrote on X, "Not her plane! Photoed is a Gulfstream, Swift own's no Gulfstreams. I condemn these actions."

Tail Numbers Don't Lie

All aircraft have unique tail numbers, or registration numbers, assigned by national aviation authorities, ensuring each aircraft can be individually identified. For example, in the U.S., these numbers start with "N" followed by a combination of numbers and letters, while in other countries, different prefixes are used. This system is essential for tracking, regulation and safety.

While the vandalized jet in the video foreground did not have a visible tail number, the vandalized jet with blue stripes in the background showed the tail number N1875A. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), this jet is registered to a trustee of U.S. Bank in Wilmington, Delaware.

The tail number on Swift's private jet is N621MM. According to the FAA, this jet is registered to a company called Island Jet Inc. that has reportedly shared the same Nashville address as Taylor Swift Productions.

On Swift's Falcon 7X aircraft, the tail number is not located on the tail, but rather, on two of its three engines located on the sides of the jet. Three years ago, Southend Aviation, a YouTube channel that films aircraft taking off and landing at U.K. airports, posted a clip of Swift's jet taking off from Stansted Airport, the tail number N621MM clearly visible on the right-side engine.

A screenshot from the X account Free Press Journal shows one of the climate activists spraying the jet in the viral video's foreground, indicating that, unlike Swift's private jet, there was no tail number present on the aircraft's right-side engine.

(Free Press Journal/X)

Swift was in the U.K. for her Eras Tour, performing a series of concerts in London before heading to Dublin, with a performance scheduled for June 28 in the Irish capital.

Her use of a private jet has drawn criticism for being environmentally irresponsible and tone-deaf, particularly in light of the climate crisis. In 2022, Swift faced backlash for being among the top celebrities with the highest private jet emissions. Despite her significant philanthropy and advocacy work, her frequent use of private aviation remains contentious.

The claim that Just Stop Oil activists spray-painted Swift's private jet is false. Her jet was at Stansted the night before the protest, but it was not among those damaged during the incident, though flight tracking data appeared to contradict statements from Stansted Airport and Essex Police regarding the location of Swifts jet at the time of the incident.

Snopes has previously reported on Swift's private jet usage.


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