Ryanair further inflamed an already-contentious public relations catastrophe after offering a carefully worded non-apology after employees were accused of allowing a racist and aggressive flyer to bully a 77-year-old-woman on a recent flight. A video of the incident appears to show the abusive passenger get his wish to have the black woman moved to another seat.
Footage of a racist tirade on a Ryanair flight is disturbing to watch, but eyewitnesses say the fact that the passenger behind the bigoted rant suffered no consequences at all for his actions is equally troubling. In fact, fellow passengers say that it was the victim in this case who was forced to find another seat on the plane.
The airline made a bad situation worse this week by acknowledging an incident on a recent flight from Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN) to London Stansted Airport (STN), but declining to apologize for allowing the racist abuse to go unchecked. The airline’s awkwardly crafted non-apology turned the public relations misstep into a social media maelstrom.
“Statement: We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police,” airline officials wrote in a terse Twitter post on Sunday. The post almost immediately reheated the controversy over crew members’ handling of the shocking episode.
Statement: We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) October 21, 2018
Video of the ugly tirade obtained by The Mercury News shows an unidentified middle-aged white man flying off the handle when an elderly black woman takes her seat in the same row of the cabin. The cruel verbal attack that follows appears to not only be unprovoked, but also unreciprocated on the part of victim – who is eventually forced to wordlessly find somewhere else to sit.
“Put her to another seat!” the man can be heard shouting on the cellphone video. “I tell you this. If you don’t go to another seat, I’ll put you to another seat! Don’t talk to me in a f—ing foreign language, you stupid ugly cow! … Ugly black bastard!”
A flight attendant can be seen attempting at first to calm the angry flyer. The crew member appears to quickly give up trying to soothe raw emotions in favor of separating the irate passenger from the source of his inexplicable rage.