ESSEX POLICE have opened an investigation into an incident caught on camera during a Ryanair flight to Spain.
The budget airline has faced criticism over its handling of the incident which occurred on a Barcelona flight to Stansted Airport on Friday.
The incident was posted to Facebook by a fellow passenger, David Lawrence, captioned “share & shame”.
During the footage, a man is filmed unleashing a tirade of abuse upon an elderly, disabled woman.
A row allegedly broke out between the passengers after the woman was reportedly unable to move out of the way as the man attempted to reach his window seat.
The man is seen shouting at the elderly woman to move whilst her daughter tries to explain that her mother is disabled.
He responded to the pleas of the daughter: “I don’t care whether she’s f******g disabled or not – if I tell her to get out she gets out.”
The abusive man used highly offensive language during the argument including racial insults.
He then proceeds to threaten using physical force on the woman in order to reach his seat: If you don’t go to another seat, I’ll push you to another seat”
The Ryanair cabin crew can be overheard attempting to diffuse the situation, offering an alternative seat to the elderly woman while another passenger verbally demanded the man be removed from the flight.
One man, dressed in a black t-shirt steps in attempting to put an end to the argument, shouting: “Stop. There’s no need for that at all” and “Just stop. Take it easy. Stop, please.”
At this point the elderly woman requests to be moved away from the man in order to sit with her daughter.
The man was allowed to remain on the flight, keeping his original window seat.
In the aftermath of the incident, Ryanair have been criticised for their handling of the situation.
Questions have been raised over the capability of Ryanair’s cabin crew to deal with situations involving abusive passengers.
Numerous British politicians have taken to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the video, which circled social media this weekend.
Karl Turner, Labour MP for East Hull, stated “He should have been removed from the flight and handed over to the police.”
Jeremy Vine commented on social media: “If this is Ryanair, they 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. It is beyond belief.”
Ryanair have allegedly since seen the footage and have reported the incident to Essex Police. The airline commented: “As this is now a police matter, we cannot comment further.”
Essex Police declared: “”We are working closely with Ryanair and the Spanish authorities on the investigation.”
Some viewers may find the following footage distressing: