Ryanair has come under fire after a video surfaced online of a male passenger launching into a racial outburst at the woman seated next to him on one of their flights from Barcelona to London Stansted.
The video, recorded by Kent resident David Lawrence, was posted on social media over the weekend and shows the man verbally abusing the elderly woman to move seats.
The woman’s daughter tries to stand up to the man and asks the cabin crew for the man to be removed. Speaking to the Huffington Post, she explained that her mother is 77-years old and suffers from arthritis and that the row initially began because it took some time for her mother to get up from her seat to let the man through. However, she believes that this is not the main reason for the tirade, “The underlying reason behind the man’s abusive behaviour comes down to the fact that my mum is a black woman and he didn’t want her sitting next to him – he says it in the video.”
She explained that what was equally upsetting was the way the situation was handled, “Mum’s really feeling upset and very stressed about this situation, on top of the grief that she’s already experiencing. As for me, I’m upset about the whole thing too – the fact that the passenger wasn’t taken off the plane and how the situation was dealt with,” and added, “We will never fly with Ryanair again.”
A passenger who was seated in the row behind tried to alleviate the situation and also asked for the man to be removed from the flight. The cabin crew member can be heard saying to the man: “Don’t be so rude, you have to calm down” but ultimately, he is allowed to remain on the flight while the woman moves to another seat.
There has been widespread criticism of Ryanair on social media over the incident, and the video now has over 500,000 views on YouTube and has received over 18,000 retweets. Ryanair subsequently released a statement on Twitter saying “We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police.”
Statement: We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) October 21, 2018
According to the Huffington Post, the family of the woman involved in the incident still have not heard from Ryanair in relation to the incident.