Irish airline Ryanair is facing massive flak for not taking action against a passenger, who was seen hurling racist abuses at a black fellow flyer on a Barcelona-Stansted flight on Friday, October 19. The incident was recorded by a passenger and has widely been shared on social media.
The video shot and shared by UK resident David Lawrence has been viewed over 1.8 million times and many have said that the low-budget airline should have removed the man for the abuse.
In the video, a grey-haired man wearing glasses is seen screaming at a black woman, who is seated along the aisle. Calling the woman "sickly," "fat," and "ugly," the man says that he hopes someone else sits in the middle seat as he doesn't want to sit next to the woman.
"I tell you, I hope somebody sits there," the man is heard telling the woman, pointing at the empty middle seat between them. "'Cause I don't want to sit next to you." He then threatens to push her to another seat and when she replies to him in English with a Jamaican accent, the man adds: "Don't talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow."
By then, the woman's daughter is seen walking up to the man and intervening asking him to be quiet. "Who are you talking to? Don't shout at her. That's my mother; she's disabled," she is heard saying. However, the man refuses to back down and says he doesn't care if she is elderly or disabled, and doesn't want to sit next to her.
"Put her to another seat!" the male passenger shouts, before turning to the woman. "I tell you this. If you don't go to another seat, I'll put you to another seat!"
A few passengers are seen trying to intervene and Lawrence himself is heard saying: "Throw him off the flight. Throw him off the flight. Get rid of him."
However, the crew did not take any action against the man and instead asked the woman if she wanted to move.
Lawrence then spoke to the Washington Post and said that the plane even took off a little while later and the man even got extra leg room" in a row.
"I thought the flight attendant was going to call someone and escort the man off the flight," Lawrence told The Post. "They moved the woman instead of moving him. That was shocking to me."
What the woman's daughter said of the incident
The woman's daughter later spoke to the Huffington Post and said that the incident has left her mother shaken. She explained that she had taken her mother on a holiday to cheer her up after her father's death, but what happened on the plane has left her upset.
"Mum's really feeling upset and very stressed about this situation, on top of the grief she's already experiencing," she told the HuffPost. "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."
The budget airline has now said that they have reported the matter to the police. "We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police," the airline said.