Ryanair has sacked six members of cabin crew who were seen pictured on the floor of a Spanish airport last month, the airline said.
The six crew members were pictured lying side by side on the floor of Malaga Airport on the Costa del Sol on October 14 after four of the company’s planes destined for Porto, Portugal, had to be diverted to Malaga in Storm Leslie.
The six people photographed were part of a group of eight pilots and 16 cabin crew members based in Portugal, who were stranded in the Spanish airport and argued that they were left with just eight seats between them for the night.
The ‘fake’ photograph of Ryanair crew members sleeping on the floor of Malaga airport (Picture: Jimbaba/Twitter)During the night the staff they took a ‘protest photo’ of what Ryanair ‘expected them to do: rest there in that room for the night’, Portugese Union (SNPVAC) Official Fernando Gandra told Metro.co.uk at the time.
The image was widely shared online, but Ryanair argued it was totally staged and the crew members only spent ‘a short period of time in the crew room’.
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Luciano Passo, head of the SNPVAC cabin crew union, called Ryanair’s decision ‘awful’ and vowed to swiftly respond to the decision.
He said: ‘Ryanair was thinks it was harmed by the publication of that photograph when it was no more than a show of the crew members’ justified feeling of indignation.
‘The union’s legal team are now dealing with the matter.’
The staff were sacked on the grounds of gross misconduct after staging the ‘fake photograph’, Ryanair said.
A spokesman told Sun Online: ‘All six cabin crew members in Porto were dismissed on November 5 for breach of contract on grounds of gross misconduct, after staging a fake photograph to support a false claim (widely reported in international media outlets) that they were ‘forced to sleep on the floor’ of the Malaga crew room.
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The Portuguese union SNPVA disputes Ryanair’s summary of events and said the 24 staff members were placed in the crew room between 1.30am and 6am and had to share eight chairs in the office where there were ‘minimum rest facilities’ and no food or drink.
The group were then moved to VIP lounge at 6am to sleep on shared sofas, before flying back to Porto the following day.
A video grab from the CCTV footage posted by Ryanair of staff members setting up the photograph (Picture: Ryanair/Twitter)Ryanair posted CCTV footage on social media showing the crew members ‘staging’ the photo and laying down on the floor of the crew room to pose for the photograph which went viral.
However, the airline still faced a backlash from those claiming that if the staff members had been placed in proper accommodation they would not have had to ‘do such things’.
Twitter user Jim Atkinson said: ‘Everyone already KNEW it was a protest picture you knuckleheads! The fact remains: you stranded FOUR CREWS in an airport terminal for the night and made no discernible attempt to find them proper lodging or even food and water!’
Another user Steve Lemmens said: ‘If you would have provided hotel accommodation to crew. They wouldn’t have to do such things.
‘Shame on you once more, Ryanair.’
Ryanair argued as it was a national holiday in Spain, hotels were fully booked.
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