TWO passengers on a Vueling flight were grounded apparently for refusing to speak to the cabin crew in Spanish.
The two women, residents of Menorca, had boarded the flight to Barcelona when the problems started.
After Margarita Camps Coll, aged 72, addressed a crew member in Catalan the stewardess allegedly said, “You have to speak to me in Spanish, or do you not speak it?”
Another passenger then became involved arguing that cabin crew on a flight between Menorca and Barcelona should be able to understand Catalan, and the flight attendant had “disrespected the passenger.”
A second flight attendant then told both passengers that the captain wished to talk to them outside the aircraft.
When they disembarked the passengers were met by two Guardia Civil officers who told them they wouldn’t be able to take the flight because they had disrespected a Vueling employee.
The captain refused to accept the passengers’ apologies and the two were prohibited from boarding the plane again.
However, since the incident was first reported across the press, a university professor from Barcelona has created a thread of 19 messages on Twitter giving another side to the story and claiming it was ‘fake news’.
He includes comments from other passengers on the plane or people who claim to know someone who was.
According to this version of the story, the two women did not heed the instructions of the stewardess and provoked an altercation inside the plane.
They claim both passengers were in a row of seats next to the emergency exit and the regulations state that passengers must respond to safety instructions in Spanish or English.
And even the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont entered the debate tweeting…
After 155 an authoritarian wave grows by the day. Expelling someone from a plane because of the language they speak is injustifiable https://t.co/nWFbHLg66u
— Carles Puigdemont ? (@KRLS) November 13, 2017
So far Vueling has only left a comment on Twitter saying, “We regret the inconvenience to our passengers. All crews of Barcelona-based aircraft speak Catalan. We are looking at what happened and will respond through the official channels.”