We all love a good flight deal, but we also love to joke about budget airlines, saying things like, “What are they going to take away next? The seats?” And in one viral image, it seemed that the hypothetical was actually a reality.
A Twitter user posted a photo on Tuesday of a woman seated on an easyJet flight from London to Geneva but her seat was, inexplicably, missing a back. “How can this be allowed,” the Twitter user captioned the image.
In response to the image, which was retweeted over 23,000 times, the airline said the photograph was staged and that no passenger was permitted to fly in the backless seats.
"No passengers were permitted to sit in these seats as they were inoperative awaiting repair," a spokesperson for easyJet told Business Insider. "Safety is our highest priority and easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all safety guidelines."
The person who tweeted the image confirmed that the woman photographed was moved to a different spot once the flight was fully boarded. However, he added, “Not sure what would have happened if the flight was full.”
While it is not against FAA regulations to fly with broken, non-essential equipment in the cabin, the prevalence of social media in the aviation experience is making some airlines reconsider. For example, last year, a Norwegian Air flight turned around 20 minutes after takeoff due to a broken toilet on board. Ironically, 85 of the plane’s passengers were plumbers, who were unable to deal with the issue mid-flight.