After millions viewed a video of a man hurling racial slurs at a black woman on a Ryanair flight, it seems the airline may be taking further action. According to the BBC, the discount European airline said it will ban passengers who behave like he did.
“We will be taking this matter further, and disruptive or abusive behavior like this will result in passengers being banned from travel,” the airline told the BBC.
Initially, Ryanair did not appear to do much in reaction to the video, shot by fellow passenger David Lawrence, showing an unidentified man calling the woman an “ugly black bastard” and “stupid ugly cow.” A flight attendant eventually asked the woman if she wanted to move, and she went to sit with her daughter before the flight took off from Barcelona to London as scheduled.
“We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police,” the airline said in a statement and tweet.
But as the video reached 3 million views on Facebook, it was clear that wasn’t enough, particularly after Lawrence and the daughter of the woman known only as Mrs. Gayle spoke to the press. Calls for a boycott of Ryanair rippled through Twitter by Sunday morning.
“Ok boycott @Ryanair if they think it’s ok for a racist man to abuse an elderly black woman and remain on the plane,” David Lammy, a member of parliament, wrote.
Others were less measured.
I see Ryanair have updated their website pic.twitter.com/JU0swn8Oq4
— Dai Lama (@WelshDalaiLama) October 21, 2018
I’ve travelled with @Ryanair once and every white person got treated completely different to what I did. Fuck the whole company.
— Jayde Pierce (@JaydePierce) October 21, 2018
Gayle’s daughter told HuffPost U.K. that she had taken her 77-year-old mother on vacation to cheer her up on the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death. Gayle has arthritis and was slow to stand up from her aisle seat when the man wanted to get to his window seat.
“The underlying reason behind the man’s abusive behavior comes down to the fact that my mum is a black woman and he didn’t want her sitting next to him — he says it in the video,” the daughter told HuffPost.
Rather than asking the man to move or deplane, the flight attendant asked Gayle if she wanted to move. Another passenger, along with many who have viewed the video since then, questioned why the man was allowed to remain on the flight. According to Gayle’s daughter, the flight attendant denied hearing any racial slurs and told them to complain about it to customer service on Monday.
It is unclear whether Ryanair had planned on doing more about this all along, or if public outcry spurred the airline into action. Now other officials are involved as well.
“Essex Police takes prejudice-based crime seriously, and we want all incidents to be reported,” the police told the BBC. “We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation.”
The U.K.’s Department of Transportation also told the network it would be looking into how else to “deal with disruptive passengers.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Video of police officer punching teen girl shocks the internet: ‘He went completely overboard’
- Lori Loughlin’s Hallmark Channel Christmas hat sparks MAGA debate. ‘Wish you would keep politics out of it.’
- A high school student’s essay led to her alleged abuser’s conviction