Should I boycott Ryanair?Back to Forum
I am planning a trip to Dublin for December and Ryanair are currently the cheapest and most convenient option. However, their failure to handle this racist incident really disappoints me.
A question for those who know. Would the captain have been made aware of this incident at the time? If so, isn’t it ultimately his or her responsibility for the failure to act?22 Oct 2018
This did not endanger the flight, so there is no reason for the captain to be involved. That said, this kind of behaviour has to be reported. It seems this is what Ryanair did. Is it a good enough reason to fly with them? Certainly not! But there cannot be a good reason.
1 user thanked author for this post.22 Oct 2018
I don’t think anyone can advise you on whether you should boycott Ryanair. However, I suspect your question isn’t ‘should I?’ but ‘should we?’.
First we should look at how far Western society has come and that equality is more the norm than the exception. There seem to be people who almost miss the past where they could have become a martyr to some cause – but equally they won’t go and protest in a country that still lives in the Middle Ages for fear of being stoned to death. Instead, they choose to be ‘outraged’ from behind their computer safe in their English home.
It may be that this incident was handled badly by a young inexperienced crew, but the instigator wasn’t Ryanair. This wasn’t a Rosa Parks moment.
1 user thanked author for this post.22 Oct 2018
The situation, when on the ground and doors open (which I suspect was the case) is not straight forward – as opposed to the situation in the air, when the captain has very high levels of authority and could have had the police waiting to greet the flight.
I would have expected the captain to be aware and the incident to be logged.22 Oct 2018
BugAdvisor, you say this isn’t Rosa Parks moment but there is some similarity between the two incidents. Rosa chose to sit in a white area of the bus and refused to move when asked thus breaking the law of the time. In the Ryanair case, the woman was sitting in a seat she was entitled to sit in, was then racially abused by a disruptive passenger and the cabin crew ended up moving the woman from a seat she was entitled to sit in and let the racist sit in the sit he had to begin with.
If I was black, what message does this send to me. That if I am racially abused, Ryanair will simply move me to another seat and let the abuser take my seat? In Montgomery in the 50s, perfectly normal behaviour. In 2018 on a flight to Britain … ????22 Oct 2018
@ Bath_VIP – The abuser was obviously just one of those strange people that always seem to sit next to me on the bus. And I usually move somewhere else. I have a feeling that he would have abused anyone who sat next to him without regard to their ethnicity.
I’m pretty sure this lady was happy to move to another seat away from him.
But you seem intent on making this a bigger story than it is.22 Oct 2018
This is a shocking abdication of responsibility and decency !!
And Bath_VIP you beat me to raising the subject…
As someone who travels Ryanair reasonably regularly I can surmise pretty accurately how this all came about…..
1) The Neanderthal who committed the offence should be brought before the beak, and at the least made to go humanity lessons.
However, the managing of the situation falls well below what is expected in 21st Britain. And for this the blames lies firmly and squarely at the front door of Corporate Ryanair. For a variety of reasons……
A) Deliberate separation of families , simply to encourage people to buy their seat led to a vulnerable elderly lady being apart from her daughter. And who knows the vile behaviour might not have happened if he (possibly) wasn’t separated from his travelling companions ?
B) Not knowing the facts, but a large proportion of young inexperienced FR cabin crew are Eastern European, and it seems that their tolerance to intolerant racist views is higher than here, in liberal minded western cultures.
C) Ryanair’s absolute obsession with quick turn-arounds etc , probably led to a decision to take no action at either end of the flight!
Finally, the reluctance (minus 1) of her fellow passengers is telling in itself, and I suppose my question would be, would any of us here intervened to defend the lady from this repugnant behaviour ?22 Oct 2018
BugAdvisor, I don’t think you’ve quite understood my point here. I apologise if I haven’t been clear but Canucklad gets it completely so at least one person understands my point.
This is all about Ryanair. I am not interested in the involvement of the police since by then it is after the point that Ryanair could have dealt with it. I am also not interested in how we would personally deal with such abuse since that comes before Ryanair step in though Canucklad does make a pertinent point about families being split up which I had not thought about before.
What I want to know is what is Ryanair’s policy in such incidents? Is to move the victim to another seat and keep the abuser in their original seat? Or is it to move the abuser to another seat, put the abuser on another flight or to get the police involved.
If it is the former, then the issue moves to corporate HQ and Michael O’Leary should be confronted with this and asked to justify or to change their policy. A boycott would be a reasonable response if Ryanair thinks their policy is OK.
If it is the latter, then I want to know if the captain was aware of what had happened since he or she is accountable for what happens on the plane. If he or she was aware and failed to implement Ryanair’s policy then he or she should be sacked. If the senior cabin crew failed to tell the captain then he or she should be sacked. I would want to see Ryanair be proactive on this and if so, then a boycott would not be justified. However, if they choose to excuse or cover up a failure to execute policy then a boycott would be back on the agenda.
Please let me know if you need more clarification.22 Oct 2018
If it is the latter, then I want to know if the captain was aware of what had happened since he or she is accountable for what happens on the plane.
No, that is quite wrong – the commander (if we are going to talk aviation law, let’s use the correct terminology) is accountable for the safe operation of the aircraft. On the ground, the situation is potentially complex and shared jurisdiction.
The commander should have been briefed on the incident and will have asked the cabin crew whether the incident presents a risk to the operation of the flight, e.g. is the man likely to repeat his action and other relevant questions.
Assuming the cabin crew say they have controlled the situation and expect to manage it, the commander is at liberty to operate the flight, if they say no, he would have to consider offloading the passenger and possibly making a report to the authorities.
Ryanair is not responsible for prosecuting alleged crimes, though it is responsible for operating flights within the boundaries of aviation law.
The aircraft commander will have to balance involving the authorities, who may then delay the flight with heavy knock on effects for the company and going on for 200 passengers, against whether s/he can operate the flight safely.
There it is – you see similar incidents quite regularly involving passengers who’ve had a few too many, but are allowed to remain – bear in mind they have committed an offence directly covered by aviation laws – racism is not (though other laws deal with it).
To add to the bitter taste, a successful prosecution may not be possible as the alleged offender has left Barcelona (I don’t know if Spanish police could issue an EU arrest warrant – or whether they would wish to).
Ryanair can (and IMO should) ban the passenger for a very long time, but beyond that I can’t see what else they can do (apart from maybe gifting the lady a couple of free tickets, as she was clearly the victim of an unpleasant episode.
One thing that concerned me was that if the lady was impaired in movement (at 77, many people are), why was she sitting in anything other than a window seat – yes, the guy was annoyed she took time to move to let him in, but the other way is more important and if the aircraft required an evacuation, it is not right that someone who cannot move quickly should be in the way of other pax – sorry if that comes across harshly, but one of these days it will be me and I’ll have to accept it, too.
All in all, it was a disgraceful exhibition by the guy – wonder how he’d like it if someone spoke to him mum like that?22 Oct 2018
I boycotted Ryan air long before this incident. I enjoy travel far too much to risk the “Ryan Experience”..
To be fair, this cause incident was nothing to do with Ryanair – they’re far from my favourite ride, but I do find them competent and overall good vfm – they are also very good on managing boarding and hand baggage avoiding the bloody awful experience best avoided on certain other ‘premium’ carriers.22 Oct 2018