Ryanair release statement on a video of an unruly passenger

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed October 26, 2018 15:47

Ryanair release statement on a video of an unruly passenger

Ryanair has issued a statement in response to the video of the racist abuse during the boarding of a flight in Barcelona on Friday October 19, prior to its departure for London Stansted.

Ryanair says that it only became aware of the video recording late on Saturday October 20, which showed that racist abuse had taken place during a verbal argument between two passengers seated adjacent to each other during the boarding of the flight.

Ryanair immediately reported the video, and the racist abuse, to the Essex Police in Stansted Airport at 9am on Sunday October 21. “We provided the Police with a copy of the video, and relevant details of the two passengers involved. These prompt actions disprove the false claims that Ryanair did not respond “quickly” or “appropriately” to this video. To allow the Police investigation to occur, Ryanair declined to comment to media despite the considerable and inaccurate media commentary.”

Ryanair says that the Spanish cabin crew were aware of an argument between these two passengers during the boarding process, but were not aware of, as they were not present when, racist comments were made by the male passenger towards the female passenger. While these events were videoed by another passenger on a mobile phone, this video was not shown to cabin crew until after landing in London Stansted. Ryanair states that it did not become aware of the contents of the video until late on Sat evening when it gained widespread coverage on social media.

“As the cabin crew believed they were dealing with an argument between two passengers, they followed company procedure, to defuse the argument, and separate the passengers by offering to move one to alternative seating. In this case, the female passenger was moved at her request, to a seat adjacent to her daughter who was also travelling on this flight. After moving the female passenger, both passengers were asked if they were “okay”, and both confirmed that they were. As far as the cabin crew were concerned, that was the end of the matter, and since there was no threat to aircraft safety, the issue of offloading one passenger did not arise. The Captain was not informed of any argument between the two passengers, and nor were airport security in Barcelona alerted, because as far as the cabin crew were concerned, the verbal argument had been defused.”

Ryanair has written, both by email and letter, to the female passenger at 11am on Sun morning, apologising sincerely for what happened on board the aircraft and advising her that the matter had been reported to the Essex Police at Stansted Airport. “We also invited the passenger to contact the airline if they wished to discuss the matter further. The claim made in the media in recent days, that Ryanair did not contact or apologise to the female passenger, is untrue,” says the statement.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: “We again extend our very sincere apologies to this passenger for the regrettable, and unacceptable remarks that were made to her by an adjacent passenger, and we believe that by reporting this matter immediately to the Essex Police and by apologising in writing to this customer early on Sunday morning, Ryanair treated it with the urgency and seriousness it warranted.”

Adding: “We trust that this statement will address the inaccurate media coverage of this incident over recent days, and that the legal rights of both passengers will be respected, while the Police services in Essex and Barcelona conduct their investigation of this matter, with Ryanair’s full cooperation and assistance.”

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed October 26, 2018 15:47