Ryanair says it "will not tolerate" in-flight racial abuse after tolerating it

A disheveled, rather soggy-looking white gentleman directed racial abuse and threats to a 77-year-old black woman during a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to Stansted.

In the shocking video, captured by fellow passenger David Lawrence, a man can be heard referring to Mrs Gayle, a 77-year-old pensioner from East London, as an "ugly black bastard". He appears to be refusing to sit next to her and threatening to "push" her if she does not sit elsewhere.

But the flight's stewards refused to move him, forcing his victim to tolerate his harassment. She asks to be moved, giving the man an entire row of seats to enjoy all to himself. A steward returns to make sure he's happy now. He is.

David Lawrence, who filmed what happened, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Everything was calm, we were getting ready to take off. And then a man came on board and arrived at his seat, then spoke very harshly to a woman sitting in the aisle seat. That was what got my attention as it was very loud and very aggressive. He started to shout at the woman, saying 'get out of the way', 'move your feet', 'you shouldn't be sitting here'." …
Mr Lawrence said it was a "horrible, horrible situation" and that he was "shocked" that Ryanair "allowed something like this just to go unchecked". BBC presenter Jeremy Vine was among those saying the incident was "beyond belief", saying Ryanair "need to explain how this man's disgusting racial abuse of the black lady in the seat next to him ends up with HER being asked to move".

At one point the stewards just walk off, forcing another passenger to physically prevent him from menacing her.

As another passenger wrote:

"This racist white man refused to sit next to an elderly black woman on a Ryanair flight. He called her an "ugly black bastard" & threatened to push her to another seat if she didn't move to another seat. Ryanair – DOES NOTHING!!!" …

"After the black woman was verbally assaulted, dehumanized, moved…the flight attendant took it a step further and went back to console the abuser "