Ryanair under fire over racist incident on flight

Kenny Grant
October 22, 2018

Ryanair was condemned yesterday after failing to remove a passenger who launched a racist tirade against an elderly black woman sitting in his row.

According to HuffPost UK, the woman was returning from a holiday organised by her daughter to cheer her up ahead of the first anniversary of her husband's death. In footage filmed on a mobile phone he can be heard shouting: "Don't talk to me in a foreign language you stupid ugly cow".

Fellow MSP politician Margaret Ferrier said: "Just watched the shocking footage on a @Ryanair aircraft, utterly disgusting".

Ryanair has been criticised after footage emerged of a passenger racially abusing an elderly black woman sat next to him.

Flight attendants and the woman's daughter intervened and the woman was moved to a different seat, but the male passenger was allowed to remain in his seat for the Barcelona to London flight.

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".

But he replied: "I don't care whether she's f****** disabled or not, if I tell her to get out she gets out".

I am so depressed.

The woman tries to respond and a flight attendant can be seen trying to calm the situation.

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"In fact, one of the passengers whilst I was filming basically said to me don't you think you're being a bit childish by filming this", he said. "There was no response [from most other passengers]".

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".

Mrs. Gayle's daughter tries to explain to the man that her mother has arthritis which hinders her ability to move quickly.

Ryanair told the BBC: "We operate strict guidelines for disruptive passengers and we will not tolerate unruly behaviour like this".

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.

A spokeswoman for Essex police said: "This incident, which we were made aware of this morning, is believed to have taken place on a plane at Barcelona Airport".

The report states that she was seated elsewhere after the altercation and that the incident was reported to police who are investigating.

It asked anyone with information to call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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