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Ryanair cabin crews are calling out airline management after 24 crew members were left stranded at Spain’s Malaga Airport (AGP). After several flights were diverted to AGP due to Hurricane Leslie in Portugal, a photo of six Ryanair crew members sleeping on the floor emerged on social media.
Former Ryanair pilot Jim Atkinson criticized the airline by tweeting at Peter Bellew, the Ryanair’s Chief Operations Officer.
Unfortunately. All hotels were completely booked out in Malaga. The storm created huge damage in Portugal. Later after this the crew moved to VIP lounge. Apologies to the crew we could not find accommodation.
— Peter Bellew (@peterbellew) October 14, 2018
The pilots aren’t buying it! pic.twitter.com/OJRKfwyAUm
— Jim Atkinson (@Jimbaba) October 14, 2018
Ryanair claims this photo is “clearly staged.”
“Due to storms in Porto (13 Oct) a number of flights diverted to Malaga and as this was a Spanish national holiday, hotels were fully booked,” the airline said in a statement. “The crew spent a short period of time in the crew room before being moved to a VIP lounge, and returned to Porto the next day (none of the crew operated flights).”
A former Ryanair cabin crew member and now Portuguese union official, Fernando Gandra, told The Irish Times that the photo was intended to illustrate the conditions the airline provided for its staff and that claiming the picture was staged is “irrelevant.”
“I’m not going to comment on whether it was staged or not. Only the people who were there can make that statement,” Gandra explained to The Irish Times.
Tensions regarding Ryanair’s treatment of its employees boiled over when a slew of strikes disrupted travel across Europe this summer and continued into September. One strike left 55,000 flyers stranded, and the airline originally would not compensate the affected travelers.
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