Ryanair under fire for lack of response to racist incident on flight

Lester Mason
October 24, 2018

What irritated spectators further was, despite the man calling the women an "ugly black bastard", he kept his seat and wasn't asked to leave the plane.

Delsie Gayle was the target of a string of abuse from a fellow passenger on flight FR015 from Barcelona to London Stansted.

Scores of people declared a boycott against Ryanair, a Dublin-based budget airline, over the weekend after video of an apparently racist confrontation on a recent flight surfaced on the internet.

The victim's family said yesterday that when they complained, Ryanair staff claimed they did not hear any racism.

"Our officers will continue to provide assistance where necessary throughout the course of this case", Essex police stated.

A video showing a white man hurling racial slurs and swearing at an elderly black woman for sitting next to him has gone viral.

'Don't talk to me in a fucking foreign language you stupid ugly cow'.

A passenger from the row behind spoke, asking him to be quiet.

The argument started because her mother - a member of the Windrush generation who came to the United Kingdom in the 1960s - has arthritis so it took her some time to move out of the way so the man could reach the window seat.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the reaction to the video showed: "The power of social media today and the importance of the public knowing that these incidents take place".

According to the woman's daughter, the argument started after her mother, who has arthritis, struggled to make way for the man from her aisle seat.

"I heard a man's voice behind me, very loud, very aggressive, shout, 'Get away from my seat". Move your feet now.

Mr Lawrence said no attendants initially came over. "My mother has worked her all of her life, paid her taxes and her dues", her daughter said.

He said: "This was a racist attack, and I as a Caribbean man had to go through the trauma of listening to this man without any of the security Ryanair was supposed to provide".

She said she took her mum, who migrated to the United Kingdom from Jamaica in the 1960s, on holiday to mark the anniversary of her mother's husband's death.

"I feel very low", she added.

"But as a cabin crew member, it is not great when people pile in and try to take things into their own hands". He has been praised for his actions. But yet as you can see, the man in question wasn't having any of it. "I just want to go home".

"I am so shocked", said Lawrence."There was no response [from most other passengers]. I told him to release it, then it generates", then shouted the individual, causing the wrath of other passengers who have called for it to be landed".

David Lawrence, who filmed a man subjecting a woman to a tirade of racist abuse, said that in the age of social media "visual is important" and "now the world knows" what happened.

MP Karl Turner tweeted that, because of the complexities of aviation law and the fact the incident did not happen "in flight", it may not be possible to prosecute the man.

The airline has faced criticism for not removing the passenger from the flight. Instead, the woman was given another seat, and the man stayed aboard.

Ryanair, however, has told the Post that it will be "taking this matter further" by banning passengers who exhibit disruptive or abusive behavior. The airline commented: "As this is now a police matter, we can not comment further".

Ryanair said the incident had been reported to Essex Police.

"We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation".

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

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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