Thursday 19 September 2019

Ryanair sacks six cabin crew for 'fake' photo

The staged image was taken at Malaga Airport
The staged image was taken at Malaga Airport

Natalia Penza

Ryanair cabin crew pictured lying on a Spanish airport office floor after becoming stranded by bad weather have been sacked.

The image was "staged" by six crew members in protest at their treatment at Malaga Airport on the Costa del Sol in the early hours of October 14.

They were part of a group of eight pilots and 16 cabin crew based in Portugal who say they were forced to spend several hours in the room after landing at Malaga just after midnight following diversions caused by Hurricane Leslie.

Luciana Passo, head of the SNPVAC cabin crew union in Portugal, confirmed the sackings yesterday.

"Ryanair thinks it was harmed by the publication of that photograph when it was no more than a show of the crew members' justified feeling of indignation," he said.

The airline complained the photo had been staged after union representatives claimed last month 24 crew members spent more than seven hours in the office sharing seven chairs and the floor before they were taken to a VIP area to sleep on shared sofas. It released CCTV video footage showing how the crew laid down on the floor to pose for the picture that went viral on social media.

The company admitted the crew had spent "a short time" in the room because a bank holiday in Spain meant nearby hotels were full, but rebuffed claims anyone had slept on the floor.

A Ryanair spokesman confirmed all six cabin crew members in Porto were dismissed on Monday. It cited " breach of contract on grounds of gross misconduct, after staging a fake photograph to support a false claim (widely reported in international media outlets) that they were 'forced to sleep on the floor' of the Malaga crew room, which was behaviour which damaged their employer's reputation and caused an irreparable breach of trust with these six persons."

Irish Independent

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