Ryanair releases lengthy statement outlining its response to passenger's racist tirade
The airline has attempted to shed some light on the situation.
Ryanair has released a statement in response to the video of racist abuse that took place during the boarding of a flight in Barcelona on 19 October.
On a flight to Stansted, a woman was racially abused by a man before the flight took off. The incident was captured on video, and went viral after it was posted online.
Speaking about how the abuse has affected her, the woman in question told ITV: "I feel very low. He paid a fare a to go on holiday, I've paid mine so why does he abuse me for that due to the colour of my skin?"
On Friday, the Ryanair passenger filmed launching a racist tirade at an elderly woman denied that he is a racist and issued an apology to the woman in question; the apology was not accepted.
Ryanair has released a lenghty statement on the incident, the main points of which are outlined below:
- Ryanair only became aware of this video late on Sat 20th Oct, which showed that racist abuse had taken place during a verbal argument between two passengers seated adjacent to each other during the boarding of this flight on Fri 19th.Ryanair immediately reported this video, and the racist abuse, to the Essex Police in Stansted Airport at 9am on Sun 21st Oct.
- We provided the Police with a copy of the video, and relevant details of the two passengers involved. These prompt actions disprove the false claims that Ryanair did not respond “quickly” or “appropriately” to this video. To allow the Police investigation to occur, Ryanair declined to comment to media despite the considerable and inaccurate media commentary.
- Ryanair’s Spanish cabin crew were aware of an argument between these two passengers during the boarding process, but were not aware of, as they were not present when, racist comments that were made by the male passenger towards the female passenger. While these events were videoed by another passenger on a mobile phone, this video was not shown to cabin crew until after landing in London Stansted.
- Ryanair did not become aware of the contents of the video until late on Sat evening when it gained widespread coverage on social media. As the cabin crew believed they were dealing with an argument between two passengers, they followed company procedure, to defuse the argument, and separate the passengers by offering to move one to alternative seating. In this case, the female passenger was moved, at her request, to a seat adjacent to her daughter who was also travelling on this flight.
- After moving the female passenger, both passengers were asked if they were “okay”, and both confirmed that they were. As far as the cabin crew were concerned, that was the end of the matter, and since there was no threat to aircraft safety, the issue of offloading one passenger did not arise. The Captain was not informed of any argument between the two passengers, and nor were airport security in Barcelona alerted, because as far as the cabin crew were concerned, the verbal argument had been defused.
- Ryanair immediately wrote, both by email and letter, to the female passenger at 11am on Sun morning, apologising sincerely for what happened on board the aircraft and advising her that the matter had been reported to the Essex Police at Stansted Airport. We also invited the passenger to contact the airline if they wished to discuss the matter further. The claim made in the media in recent days, that Ryanair did not contact or apologise to the female passenger, is untrue.
- Ryanair will be happy to answer any further questions or queries that may arise as soon as the Essex Police and the Barcelona Police authorities have concluded their investigations and have decided what action to take.
- Ryanair has a long record of not tolerating disruptive or abusive passenger behaviour, and we have been to the forefront of calling for greater powers and more effective Government follow-up in cases of passenger disruption onboard flights.