'Absolutely disgraceful!’ Calls for Ryanair boycott in wake of passenger’s racist rant

Gladys Abbott
October 22, 2018

A video has gone viral of the incident and features a man threatening a 77-year-old black woman with arthritis named Mrs. Gayle, who didn't move fast enough from her seat to allow the man get to his window seat.

Huffington Post has reported that the incident occurred on a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to London Stansted. A woman assumed to be the elderly woman's daughter attempts to defuse the situation and a male flight attendant offers her a seat somewhere else, which she initially refused.

After a flight attendant intervenes and tries to calm the man down, the woman asks to be seated next to her daughter and moves to another seat.

Staff on the flight seem to do little to silence the man during the footage, leaving a passenger sitting behind to try and deal with the situation. The woman's daughter, who had been sitting elsewhere, arrived and "an argument started", he said.

However, it is eventually the woman who moves seats.

In a statement, Ryanair said they are aware of the video and the man has been reported to Essex police.

Irish low-priced airline Ryanair has been slammed after failing to remove a racist passenger onboard a flight from Barcelona to London.

Throughout the interaction, other passengers could be heard defending Mrs Gayle.

He told BBC Breakfast: "I had to make a hard decision at that time because if I had stepped in I don't think you would have seen the footage that I captured".

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Since the video aired, Ryanair has felt a lot of kickback on social media.

Shadow transport minister Karl Turner was among those to tweet about the incident, saying he would raise "the tendency of airlines to ignore this kind of behaviour".

The woman said that when she had complained to cabin crew they denied hearing any racial slurs and they told her to ring customer services on Monday. "I can't get in while she's sat there".

"We assume the aircraft was in the UK".

She continued: 'I know that if I was behaving like he was or any other black person for that matter, police would have been called and we would have been kicked off the flight'.

Essex Police said it was working closely with Ryanair and Spanish authorities as part of the investigation, and said it took prejudice-based crime seriously, the BBC reported.

"Ryanair has got a lot of work to do - major changes need to be made very quickly".

Anybody with information is encouraged to contact the police on 101, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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