Ryanair slammed for not removing passenger who used racist language toward seatmate
Travelers are calling for a boycott of Ryanair after a white male passenger was filmed using racist language against an elderly black woman — and allegedly suffering no consequences for his tirade.
The footage, shared by U.K. resident David Lawrence, was taken before takeoff on a flight from Barcelona to London on Thursday, and shows the male passenger speaking aggressively to a 77-year-old woman seated in his row. According to the woman’s daughter, who spoke with Huffington Post U.K., the altercation allegedly began after the elderly woman took a little while to rise from her seat and allow the man into the row, as she suffers from arthritis.
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The woman’s daughter, who is also seen arguing with the man in Lawrence’s footage, says she is never flying with Ryanair again, claiming that if the situation were reversed, she and her mother “would have been kicked off the flight” by police.
WARNING: Video and Facebook post contain graphic language.
The video clip, which has been viewed more than 4.6 million times on Lawrence’s Facebook page, appears to show the woman’s daughter exchanging words with the male passenger, who repeatedly insists that the 77-year-old woman be moved.
“I tell you this: If you don’t go to another seat, I’ll put you to another seat,” he says to her at one point.
When the elderly woman responds with a Jamaican accent, the man says, “Don’t talk to me in a f---ing foreign language, you stupid ugly cow,” and later calls her an “ugly black bastard.”
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A male flight attendant can be seen trying to intervene, telling the man he is “acting super rude” and needs to “calm down.”
Other passengers can be heard urging the flight attendant to find another seat for the woman, and to throw the male passenger “off the flight.”
The video ends with the elderly woman moving back to sit nearer to her daughter, and the flight attendant telling the male passenger he is going to go speak with his supervisor about the incident.
Travelers have since taken to social media to condemn Ryanair for moving the woman rather than the aggressive male passenger, and for allegedly taking no action to detain or remove the man from the flight. British politician Karl Turner, too, tweeted about the incident, saying he feels the man should have been handed over to police “immediately,” the BBC reported.In a statement obtained by Fox News, Ryanair has said the issue is now a “police matter” and declined to comment further.
“We have reported this to the police in Essex and as this is now a police matter,” the airline stated.
The carrier also told the BBC that anyone acting in a "disruptive or abusive behavior like this" will be banned from travel.
Essex Police also told the BBC that they are investigating the incident, and encourage anyone with information to come forward.
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The elderly woman’s daughter, meanwhile, wants an apology from Ryanair.
“I don’t know how to go forward or where to take this,” she told HuffPost U.K. “I’m not even sure what I want done to resolve the situation, beyond an open apology to my mother for the way that the things were handled.”