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A white male passenger was filmed verbally assaulting a black female aboard a Ryanair flight Thursday from Barcelona (BCN) to London-Stansted (STN).
The video, which has 219k views on YouTube and nearly 3.5 million views on Facebook, begins mid-incident and shows the verbal confrontation between the two passengers. The exchange began after the 77-year-old woman took her seat in the same row as the man, which he apparently had an issue with. The incident, and Ryanair’s response, sparked talks of a boycott and required the airline to issue a statement, condemning racist customers.
Reports indicate that the man began shouting blatantly racist and heinous insults at the woman, demanding she move seats. The woman, identified only as Mrs. Gayle, was traveling with her daughter. The daughter came to her defense demanding that the man stop attacking her mother and not tell her what to do. This only further angered the man and he began to attack Gayle’s daughter. The man can be heard calling Gayle an “ugly black bastard” and demands she stop speaking to him in a “f—–g foreign language,” despite Gayle speaking English throughout the ordeal.
Warning: Explicit and Upsetting Content
Throughout the video, a Ryanair flight attendant is seen making scant attempts to calm down the situation. Overall, the majority of passengers do not react to the incident, with just two passengers vocally defending the women, one of whom was the person filming the incident. Eventually, Gayle was relocated to a seat next to her daughter. (Ryanair charges exorbitant fees for preassigned seat assignments, which likely explains why Gayle was not initially assigned a seat next to her daughter.) Upon relocating Gayle, the irate male passenger agreed to calm down.
Following the incident, the flight departed on-time with no apparent repercussions for the man who initiated the incident. He was allowed to continue on to London-Stansted uninterrupted, and according to the passenger who filmed the incident, had the entire row to himself.
The Independent is now reporting that Ryanair is taking action following rumors of a possible boycott of the airline. The airline has vowed to ban all racist passengers from travel aboard its flights.
Additionally, a spokesperson from Ryanair told the BBC that, “We operate strict guidelines for disruptive passengers and we will not tolerate unruly behavior like this.” The statement went on to confirm likely punitive measures against the passenger who berated Gayle. The spokesperson continued saying, “We will be taking this matter further and disruptive or abusive behavior like this will result in passengers being banned from travel.” Additionally, Ryanair has acknowledged the footage and says the airline has passed it along to the Essex Police Department.
Ryanair, a Dublin-based ultra low-cost carrier flying more passengers throughout Europe than any other airline, has seen a slew of incidents involving belligerent or unruly passengers. Just days ago, the airline also came under fire for releasing CCTV footage of crew members attempting to stage a photo showing them sleeping on the ground at an airport.
H/T: The Independent
Featured image from by Shutterstock.com
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