The woman who was racially abused on a Ryanair flight rejected an apology from another passenger who called her an “ugly black b*stard.”
David Mesher and 77-year old Delsie were aboard the flight FR9015 from Barcelona to London. Gayle’s seat was next to Mesher, which instigated him abusing her as he wanted her to be moved to a different seat.
“I’m not a racist person by any means and it’s just a fit of temper at the time, it think,” said Mesher on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
Mesher’s outburst was filmed by fellow passenger David Lawrence and later uploaded to YouTube. In the video Mesher can be heard saying “if you don’t go to another seat I will push you to another seat” to Gayle.
In the video a Ryanair flight attendant was seen trying to talk to Mesher while he continued to yell racial slurs at Gayle and asked the woman “do you want to sit in another seat?”
Gayle responded to the apology by saying: “You must forget and forgive but it’s going to take a long time for me to get over what he has done to me.”
Ryanair released a statement stating it was “aware of an argument between two passengers” however they “were not aware of, as they were not present” when the racist comments were made.
“Once they pose any threat to themselves or anyone else on the plane they would definitely had been removed but I don’t know if that was under any policy,” said a former flight attendant Sandra Gunning who worked for Ryanair’s rival airline Aer Lingus.
“I haven’t read too much about the Ryanair incident, so I’m not sure if it was on the ground or in the air,” said another former Aer Lingus flight attendant who wished to remain anonymous.
She explained that all airlines have a policy in place to deal with anti-social behaviour, however procedures change whether the plane is in flight or not.
While a plane is on the ground, it is up to the discretion of the crew and their opinion on whether an anti-social passenger should be carried or not.
“The captain would be informed and more than likely, if they didn’t agree to calm down, they would immediately be offloaded,” she said.
“If it’s in the air, we have a phased system of warnings. 1st is verbal, 2nd is a letter from the captain (which is a generic one carried on all aircraft) which threatens arrest or restraint and 3rd would be to have the police called and have the individual arrested once the doors are opened. Obviously is the individual becomes violent, we restrain them,” she continued.
“As far as I know, Ryanair don’t train restraint to their crew. I know Aer Lingus didn’t, not sure if they do now.
“I think in this case, as with a lot of Ryanair disruptive passenger incidents, it was lack of experience of the crew handling the incident. Sadly, not their fault, but Ryanair’s for not providing them with the training or the giving them the confidence to know how to handle such situations,” she said.
Image Credit: Screenshot from a Youtube video by David Lawrence.