Police investigate Ryanair plane passenger's racial tirade

Daniel Fowler
October 22, 2018

Police in the United Kingdom are investigating an incident of racism that happened on a Ryanair flight.

Ryanair has faced criticism after a video posted online apparently showed the airline's crew failing to take action to remove a passenger who launched a racist tirade against a fellow traveller.

Ryanair has been criticised after footage emerged of a passenger racially abusing an elderly black woman sat next to him.

When the woman tries to respond to him quietly, he replies: "Don't talk to me in a f*****g foreign language you stupid ugly cow".

After telling the man to calm down, airline staff eventually moved the woman to another seat.

Image: A male passenger leaned over to intervene during the row.

Gayle has arthritis and was slow to stand up from her aisle seat when the man wanted to get to his window seat.

The woman's 53-year-old daughter told the Huffington Post that they were returning from a holiday created to cheer her mother up, a year after the death of her father.

The agitated man then jabs at the middle seat and continues yelling at the woman.

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A man sitting in the row behind then tries to intervene, asking the man to calm down and tells him there's "no need" for his aggressive behaviour. Several passengers, including the woman being targeted, are heard in the video demanding the man be kicked off the flight.

Mrs. Gayle moved to the United Kingdom from Jamaica in the 1960s and was on vacation with her daughter to mark the first anniversary of her husband's death. She's been feeling really down and depressed, so I thought the trip would raise her spirits'.

"In fact, one of the passengers whilst I was filming basically said to me don't you think you're being a bit childish by filming this", he 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.

Labour MP for East Hull and shadow Attorney General Karl Turner tweeted: "He should have been removed from the flight and handed over to the police".

They added that as it was a police matter, they were unable to comment further.

The incident began before the aircraft took off.

"Essex Police takes prejudice-based crime seriously and we want all incidents to be reported".

After people threatened to boycott the airline, Ryanair told the BBC: "We operate strict guidelines for disruptive passengers and we will not tolerate unruly behaviour like this".

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