Discount airline RyanAir is facing criticism following the release of a video showing a passenger verbally berating another on board a plane without any consequences.
The unidentified man in the video can be seen verbally assaulting an elderly woman in his row, calling her an “ugly black bastard” and threatening to push her out of her seat if she didn’t move. A RyanAir flight attendant and a couple nearby passengers attempt to calm the man, one saying: “Keep your voice down. Stop. There’s no need for that at all.”
The man shrugs off the comment, continuing to demand the woman be moved to another seat. The flight attendant tells him, “You’re acting super rude. You have to calm down,” while the individual filming calls for the passenger in question to be thrown off the flight.
Eventually the woman was moved to another seat, and the Barcelona flight continued on to London. The man was permitted to stay in his seat.
The video was originally posted to Facebook on Friday, the day of the flight, Bloomberg reports, where it went viral, receiving more than 4 million views.
Critics have since questioned why RyanAir permitted the man to remain on the flight; the airline’s policies state that a passenger can be removed if his or her carriage “may endanger or affect the safety, health, or materially affect the comfort of other passengers or crew.”
RyanAir tweeted Sunday, “We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police.”
Since the incident occurred before the flight took off from Barcelona, Essex Police have passed the man’s information onto Spanish authorities. He will not likely face charges, however, as the man would either have to turn himself over, or Spanish authorities would have to obtain an EU arrest warrant, which requires a criminal sentencing of 12 months or more, The Guardian reports.
The ordeal began when the elderly woman, who suffers from arthritis, took some time to move out of the way so the man could reach his window seat, The Guardian reports. The woman’s daughter, who can be seen defending her mother at the start of the video, said the two were returning from a vacation intended to cheer her mother up following the anniversary of her husband’s death.
In an interview ITV, the elderly woman said about the tirade: “I feel really depressed about it. I go to my bed and say ‘what have I done?’ I haven’t done anything for you to attack me. Because of the color of my skin I was abused like that?”