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Video: EasyJet Passengers Protest Unjustified Removal Of Black Men On Plane
EasyJet passengers on a flight from Gatwick Airport in London to Malaga, Spain stepped in to stage a mutiny after flight crews called police to have two Black male passengers removed from the plane.
Before police were called, the men were reportedly sitting in an exit row when the crew told them to put on their shoes for takeoff. Apparently, a bruised ego is why a stewardess decided to call officers to the scene. Passengers onboard told Metro the flight attendants were upset with the men “for huffing” after being told to wear shoes.
When officers arrived, they confiscated the men’s passports and took their luggage. The men, however, remained on the plane after the EasyJet passengers staged a mutiny to defend the men.
Video clips surfacing online shows passengers urging the men to “sit down.” As one of the men reaches for his carry-on bag to be escorted off, passengers utter words of disgust, and one woman says, “no, don’t do that,” telling the men to stay on the plane.
Later on in the video, an officer can be heard saying, “there’s no need for me to interfere because there’s no problem.”
The flight was delayed for two hours, according to a passenger on board.
The two men were permitted to stay on the flight but the cabin crew was replaced.
One passenger on the flight said he believes race played a factor.
“We were left waiting for two to three hours with no update – it was absolutely disgraceful,” Luke Gayle, told the Daily Mail. “I am a racial justice ambassador and I kind of know how unconscious racial bias works. Obviously, it’s very difficult in these situations to say it was a racial issue, it’s difficult to prove that, however, was there some kind of unconscious bias there?”
In a statement to Travel Noire, a spokesperson stated:
“The primary responsibility of our crew is for the safety of everyone onboard. An issue arose onboard the flight during taxi, the aircraft returned to stand and was met by airport police to resolve the issue before safely departing with all passengers onboard.
“Our crew must ensure that safety requirements are followed by all passengers and as part of their role must check prior to take-off that everyone is compliant with these. This is particularly important for passengers seated in emergency exits rows where [the] crew ensure there are no loose items during take-off.
“We are aware of the feedback from some customers onboard on how this was handled. We take feedback of this nature seriously and have been in touch with them to discuss their experience and assure them that we will review this internally.
“We do not discriminate against any individual and there is no room at easyJet for discrimination of any kind. The crew must ensure all passengers follow safety requirements for the safety of everyone on board and must pay particular attention to the emergency exit row seats.
“As is routine when a flight is delayed like this one, a new crew operated the flight to ensure that the original crew did not exceed their maximum legal operating hours over the course of the day.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is our highest priority.”