‘STAGED’: Ryanair insist no staff slept on floor of airport in Spain as flights diverted due to storms

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NO ROOM AT THE INN: Ryanair claim there were no hotels available. Photo Credit: Shutterstock/ Jim Atkinson via Twitter

BUDGET airline Ryanair has been accused of forcing its cabin crew to spend the night on an airport floor in Spain as storms forced the cancellation of flights.

One social media user posted a photo claiming to show Portuguese Ryanair staff lying on the floor of the Malaga-Costa del Sol airport as planes were diverted to the airort after storms swept through Portugal.

Ryanair’s Chief Operations Officer, Peter Bellew, was tagged in the post which was captioned: “This is a Ryanair 737 crew based in Portugal, stranded in Malaga, Spain a couple of nights ago due to storms. They are sleeping on the floor of the Ryanair crew room. RYR is earning €1.25 billion this year but will not put stranded crews in a hotel for the night.”

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Ryanair has disputed the accusation that it forced staff members to sleep on the floor and said: “This picture is clearly staged and no crew “slept on the floor”.

“Due to storms in Porto (13 Oct) a number of flights diverted to Malaga and as this was a Spanish national holiday, hotels were fully booked.  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 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).”

Ryanair COO Peter Bellew said: “Unfortunately. All hotels were completely booked out in Malaga. The storm created huge damage in Portugal. Later after this the crew moved to VIP lounge. Apologies to the crew we could not find accommodation.”

Mr. Bellew also responded to accusations on social media clarifying: “Please check VIP lounge at Malaga who kindly opened at 0515 to assist our crew and pax. The weekend was fiesta nacional de espana and Malaga packed. Our handler called 42 hotels near airport who were full. Apologies for inconvenience.”

However, the SNPVAC union representing Portuguese airline crews has stated Ryanair’s handling of the situation failed to adhere to ‘minimum rest facilities’:

“They had no other choice, as the photo illustrates, than to attempt to rest on the room’s floor,” claimed the union to the British media.

The union added: “It is the legal responsibility of the airline to provide suitable accommodation, namely a hotel room, so that crew can perform their rest under the national and European legal requirements, in order to be able to operate the following duty safely,”

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