A video circulating showing an elderly man abusing a black woman on a RyanAir flight has caused a social media backlash and rightly so. The video shows the individual calling the woman an “ugly black b*****d” and then goes onto shout, “don’t talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow”.
The abuse continued even when the victim’s daughter stands up to the abuser and says that her mother is disabled. His response was, “I don’t care whether shees f******g disabled or not – if I tell her to get out she gets out”.
The response from RyanAir staff was pitiful and ended up with the perpetrator remaining on the flight and the victim being moved out of her seat. At no point can staff be seen to challenge the individual and move him off the flight.
The incident re-enforces the need for RyanAir staff to feel confident enough to challenge and remove racist perpetrator’s off their planes. In this incident, it was the victim who was moved and the response was inadequate and re-enforced in the mind of the perpetrator, a view that aggression and racism leads to a result. We call on RyanAir to review their training and support to staff after this incident, so that they can feel confident in challenging racist customers on their flights.