Tuesday 19 February 2019

WATCH: Anger at Ryanair for not kicking passenger off flight after racist rant at elderly woman

Abusive rant: A still from a video shows the man involved in the incident. Photo: David Lawrence/PA
Abusive rant: A still from a video shows the man involved in the incident. Photo: David Lawrence/PA

Tess de la Mare and Laura Lynott

Ryanair has sparked outrage after failing to remove a passenger from a plane after he launched a racist tirade against the woman in the seat next to him.

The man was filmed by a fellow passenger calling the elderly woman an "ugly black b******", and shouting "don't talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid, ugly cow".

The footage was recorded on Friday on Ryanair flight FR015 from Barcelona to London Stansted by Kent resident David Lawrence.

It shows the man shouting at the woman to move seats while her daughter tries to stand up to him, telling him her mother is disabled.

He replies: "I don't care whether she's f***ing disabled or not - if I tell her to get out, she gets out."

The man then calls her "an ugly f***ing c***" and tells staff to move the woman to another seat, adding: "If you don't go to another seat, I'll push you to another seat."

Staff on the flight intervened but were unable to silence the man during the footage.

A passenger in the row behind intervened to try to defuse the situation.

The cabin crew can be heard to say: "Don't be so rude, you have to calm down", while other passengers call for the man to be thrown off the flight.

The woman can be heard telling the man that he stinks and he needs a wash, before asking to be moved so she can sit next to her daughter. The daughter of the woman who was targeted said she believed if a black person had behaved in the same way, they would have been thrown off the flight immediately.

The woman (53) told the 'Huffington Post' the row had started because her 77-year-old mother's arthritis meant it took her some time to move out of the way so the man could reach the window seat.

The daughter said she had taken her mother on holiday to mark one year since the death of her father.

"My parents were married over 50 years. She's been feeling really down and depressed, so I thought the trip would raise her spirits.

"I know that if I was behaving like he was, or any other black person for that matter, police would have been called and we would have been kicked off the flight.

"Mum's really feeling upset and very stressed about this situation, on top of the grief she's already experiencing. As for me, I'm upset about the whole thing too - the fact that the passenger wasn't taken off the plane and how the situation was dealt with," she said.

The woman said when she complained to cabin crew, they denied hearing any racial slurs and they told her to ring customer services on Monday.

News of the incident was retweeted 18,000 times, prompting widespread condemnation of Ryanair for failing to do more.

When contacted by the Irish Independent, a spokesman for Ryanair said: "We have reported this to the police in Essex and as this is now a police matter, we cannot comment further."

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: "This incident...is believed to have taken place on a plane at Barcelona Airport... We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities."

Irish Independent

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