The Daily Mirror highlighted the following story involving Ryan Air captain Iain Inglis who joked about running away from a young, bearded man that he had seen, “praying quietly to Mecca and kissing the floor at Stansted.“
When approached by the Daily Mirror, Ryan Air simply failed to take action and stated, “We don’t comment on social media nonsense.” The response from Ryan Air is simply breath-taking given that a captain of their aircraft has made clear that he regards practising Muslims as a possible threat.
What if Captain Inglis had made the same comments about black people, would the comments be regarded as “social media nonsense?” Or imagine if he had made comments against members of the gay or lesbian community, would we not rightly be outraged on the back of the bigoted and prejudiced comments?
What Ryan Air fail to grasp and which is deeply distressing, is that the comments made by a Captain in their employ, are bigoted, prejudiced and based on fear. Sadly time and time again, people in positions of power have made comments on social media and such public comments do have a bearing on the way that they are publicly perceived and reduces public confidence in them. For a leading airline to try and brush off this issue also speaks volumes about the lack of understanding or care shown by the airline. For in the end, what we have here is the Captain of an aircraft which serves members of the public, making public prejudiced comments and publishing them for all to see.
We call on Ryan Air to take action and to understand the brand damage and corrosion in trust that their lack of action may have. This issue is not just about ‘Muslims.’ It is about how Ryan Air tackles issues around bigotry and prejudice and which are related to people in public positions who literally hold the lives of others in their hands.
We will also be writing to Ryan Air on this and urge members of the public who are unhappy with their response to write to them at the address below:
Ryanair Customer Standards
Corporate Head Office
Fax +353 1 8121213