Viral video captures man's racist tirade on flight in Barcelona


A disabled widow in her 70s who was the victim of a racist tirade on a Ryanair flight said the incident left her in shock and unable to eat and sleep.

The footage, shared by United Kingdom resident David Lawrence, was taken before takeoff on a flight from Barcelona to London on Thursday, and shows the male passenger speaking aggressively to a 77-year-old woman seated in his row.

Cell phone footage captured by London musician David Lawrence shows a white man calling his fellow passenger an "ugly Black bastard" and refusing to sit next to her.

Throughout the video, the man refers to both Gayle's skin colour and accent in derogatory terms.

Tens of thousands of people viewed the row after a passenger on the flight posted the video on YouTube and Facebook.

Flight attendants and the woman's daughter intervened and the woman was moved to a different seat, but the male passenger was allowed to remain in his seat for the Barcelona to London flight.

The budget airline has faced criticism over its handling of the incident which occurred on a Barcelona flight to Stansted Airport on Friday.

She said: "Mum's really feeling upset and very stressed about this situation, on top of the grief she's already experiencing".

But some did leap to his defence, with one writing: "If he didn't film it the usual apologists - like the silently complicit - would have said that the incident was exaggerated, now see was happens and how "good" people respond".

"I had to make a hard decision at that time because if I had stepped in I don't think you would have seen the footage that I captured".

A spokesperson for Ryanair said: 'We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police'.

But he replied: "I don't care whether she's f****** disabled or not, if I tell her to get out she gets out".

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

He is heard on the video telling the staff to move her to another seat, threatening to push her to another if they don't.

One MP said Ryanair's "perverse" incentives mean that its staff are unlikely to hold up a departing flight even if a delay is to kick off an abusive passenger.

"He did it with me and he gets away, he'll do it to somebody else", she added. "However well done to passenger with black t-shirt that intervened #hero". "Because there was no response from the other passengers on the flight at the time, I thought, OK, well, somebody needs to know what happened here".

It added: "As this is now a police matter, we can not comment further".

The report states that she was seated elsewhere after the altercation and that the incident was reported to police who are investigating.

"We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation".

"My parents were married over 50 years". The two say they will never fly with Ryanair again.

The Fórsa trade union which represents Irish-based pilots and cabin crew has said the man should have been removed from the aircraft.