Ryanair Crew Who Staged Viral Photo Of Sleeping On Airport Floor, Fired
Following six of Ryanair crew members staging a photo showing them sleeping on the airport floor, which went viral on social media, everyone who were responsible for the act were fired by the airline company, citing a breach in contract.
“All 6 cabin crew members in Porto were dismissed on Mon 5 Nov for breach of contract on grounds of gross misconduct, after staging a fake photograph to support a false claim (widely reported in international media outlets) that they were ‘forced to sleep on the floor’ of the Malaga crew room, which was behavior which damaged their employer’s reputation and caused an irreparable breach of trust with these 6 persons,” a Ryanair spokesperson said of the decision to sack the employees, Mirror Online reported.
The photo in question showed six members of the airline’s staff curled up on a carpet on the floor of Malaga Airport, Spain, next to printers and other office supplies in the crew room Oct. 13, after four Portugal-bound Ryanair flights were diverted due to the tropical thunderstorm Leslie. It was originally shared by the Facebook page of “Ryanair Must Change.”
The photo was then shared by ex-Ryanair pilot Jim Atkinson which truly caused it to go viral:
“Upon arrival to Malaga airport, the 24 crew [8 pilots and 16 cabin crew] were placed in a room, without the minimum rest facilities, where the Crew that are based on that airport perform their briefings and where Ryanair has their Malaga offices. The 24 crew members were there since 01h30 until 06:00 local time [7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. EST, Oct. 12] without access to food, drinks and even a place to sit down, as there were only 8 seats available for the 24 crew,” Ryanair Must Change said in a separate Facebook post.
While the airline’s Chief Operations Officer Peter Bellew said the company had apologized to its staff for being unable to arrange hotel accommodations for its employees, Ryanair said in a separate statement the photo circulating online was “staged” as “no crew 'slept on the floor'."
“The crew spent a short period of time in the crew room before being moved to a VIP lounge, and returned to Porto the next day [none of the crew operated flights],” the statement added.
After the original story about the viral photo was published, Ryanair sent International Business Times a surveillance footage from the crew room from the same day that the picture was taken, as evidence to prove their claim of the photo being staged. The company also issued the following statement:
“The publication of this video reveals the facts and exposes the SNPVAC union fake news/false claims. This video proves that the original picture was staged and no crew ‘slept on the floor’. All Ryanair offices and crew rooms are equipped for security reasons with CCTV cameras and notifications of same as required by GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation],” Ryanair told IBT in a statement.
Luciana Passo, head of the SNPVAC, which represents Portuguese airline crews, which had pushed back against Ryanair’s original claim of the photo being staged last month, promised a swift response to the airline’s “awful” decision.
“Ryanair thinks it was harmed by the publication of that photograph when it was no more than a show of the crew members’ justified feeling of indignation,” Passo said, adding, “The union’s legal team are now dealing with the matter.”