Ryanair, the ultra-low-budget Irish airline that is continually ranked near the bottom among all world airlines, is in hot water for allowing a passenger to remain on a flight after going on a racist tirade against an elderly black passenger, The Detroit News is reporting.
This weekend, video emerged of a white passenger loudly berating a black woman and her daughter while a Barcelona-to-London flight was boarding. Fellow passenger David Lawrence captured the event.
In the video, the white male passenger apparently took exception to the elderly black woman not getting out of her own seat fast enough so the man could take his seat. Words were exchanged, and soon the man was letting loose with a racially-charged tirade, calling her a “stupid ugly cow.” When she speaks back to him in a Caribbean accent, according to BBC News, he angrily tells her not to speak in a foreign language (which she wasn’t doing).
You can watch the video below, but be warned: it contains explicit and disturbing language that may be upsetting to some viewers.
Staff intervened and the woman and her companion, who was apparently her daughter, were moved to a different seat.
On almost any other flight on almost any other airline, a passenger loudly berating another passenger in a racist tirade would be grounds for immediate removal from the flight (as long as it wasn’t in the air, of course). However, for reasons that remain unclear, Ryanair allowed the man to stay on board the aircraft.
Ok boycott @Ryanair if they think it’s ok for a racist man to abuse an elderly black woman and remain on the plane. It’s 63 years since Rosa Parks said “No “ to sitting on the back of the Bus and we ain’t going back. https://t.co/IYczabgjMJ— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) October 21, 2018
Videographer David Lawrence says that doesn’t sit well with him.
“If that was another situation where that was a black man doing that to an elderly white woman, they would have escorted him off the flight. He probably would have ended up in a Spanish jail even today.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by the woman’s daughter.
“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.”
Ryanair, for its part, tweeted that they were aware of the incident and that they’ve reported it to police in Essex, back in England.
“We operate strict guidelines for disruptive passengers and we will not tolerate unruly behavior like this.”
The airline did not, however, say why the flight crew made the decision to allow the unruly passenger to remain on the flight.