An elderly black woman who was racially abused by a fellow passenger on a Ryanair flight is a Windrush generation migrant who was returning from a holiday to mark the anniversary of her husband’s death, her daughter has told HuffPost UK.
The woman’s daughter says she will never fly Ryanair again, and she believes that if it had been a black person behaving in that way “police would have been called and we would have been kicked off of the flight.”
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.
The video begins with a noisy row over seating, in which Mrs Gayle’s daughter can be seen arguing loudly with the man. Moments later, when the elderly woman speaks with a Jamaican accent, the man replies “don’t talk to me in a fucking foreign language, you stupid, ugly cow.”
Eventually, Mrs Gayle is seen asking to be moved, while the man remains in his seat. He can then be heard telling the flight attendant, “I’m alright, now she’s gone.” Passengers can be seen intervening, with one asking for the elderly man to be taken off the flight.
The incident took place just before the flight – FR9015 – was scheduled to leave from Barcelona for London Stansted on Friday afternoon. Ryanair have now said the incident has been reported to Essex police.
Mrs Gayle’s daughter, 53, told HuffPost UK: “In a few weeks, it’ll be one year since my dad died and I took my mum away for a few days’ break. My parents were married for over 50 years.
“She’s been feeling really down and depressed, so I thought the trip would raise her spirits.
“The underlying reason behind the man’s abusive behaviour comes down to the fact that my mum is a black woman and he didn’t want her sitting next to him – he…