Ryanair under fire for lack of response to racist incident on flight

Footage reveals racist tirade on Ryainair flight while staff do little to stop

A Ryanair passenger who filmed a man racially abusing an elderly black woman has criticised the airline's handling of the row.

The incident, which happened on a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to London on Friday, was filmed by another shocked passenger.

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 airline later responded to calls on social media for a boycott and posted on Twitter that they had referred the racist incident to police. The woman's daughter, who had been sitting elsewhere, arrived and "an argument started", he said.

Finally a cabin crew member approaches the man, saying: "You have to calm down", before the terrified woman is led to a different seat.

Throughout the interaction, other passengers could be heard defending Mrs Gayle.

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

One said: "But why didn't he intervene instead of filming?"

A video showing a white man hurling racial slurs and swearing at an elderly black woman for sitting next to him has gone viral.

"I tell you this: If you don't go to another seat, I'll put you to another seat", he said at one point.

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It did not provide further comment.

Essex Police said it was working closely with Ryanair and Spanish authorities on the investigation.

She said the fact that fellow passengers came to the defence of the women subjected to the abuse shows that the majority of people are not racist.

Lawrence said it was a hard decision to film rather than step in to intervene, but he had done so "because of the power of social media today, and the importance of the public knowing that these incidents take place".

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

"She said, 'Who are you talking to?" In an interview with ITV, Gayle said she and her daughter were returning from a vacation to mark the anniversary of the death of Gayle's husband.

Lawrence also said he has drawn personal criticism for choosing to record the situation rather than intervene.

Some flight crews have been criticized for taking action against unruly passengers that's perceived as excessive, while others have been criticized for not protecting travelers from other passengers who are unruly or abusive.

News of the incident was retweeted 18,000 times after a user with the handle @StanceGrounded uploaded Mr Laurence's clip, prompting widespread condemnation of Ryanair for failing to act swiftly.

Shadow transport minister Karl Turner was among those to tweet about the incident, saying he would raise "the tendency of airlines to ignore this kind of behaviour".

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