Last month, a photo on Twitter went viral, showing a Ryanair cabin crew laying on the floor.
The picture was done in protest after the crew’s treatment at Malaga Airport on October 14, when, instead of being given a hotel room for the night, the crew had to spend hours in an office with only a few chairs.
And now, six crew members have been fired because of the photo, according to The Daily Telegraph.
In total, eight pilots and 16 cabin crew flew into the Spanish city in the middle of the night, after being delayed by Hurricane Leslie.
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. @peterbellew ? pic.twitter.com/lILWZVqqGj
— Jim Atkinson (@Jimbaba) October 14, 2018
This week, Ryanair made a statement to Sun Online Travel confirming the news.
“All six cabin crew members in Porto were dismissed on Monday, 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,” the airline said.
“(This) was behaviour which damaged their employer’s reputation and caused an irreparable breach of trust with these six persons.”
In October, the airline also posted CCTV footage of the photo being faked.
Ryanair exposes fake photo of cabin crew sleeping in crew room. Watch video here: pic.twitter.com/tzTn6EHsKH
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) October 17, 2018
But Luciana Passo, head of the Portuguese cabin crew union SNPVAC, said that the union will fight back against Ryanair.
“Ryanair 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,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“The union’s legal team are now dealing with the matter.”
Twitter users have also lashed out against the airline, saying that Ryanair shouldn’t have left crews at the airport in the first place.
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!
— Jim Atkinson (@Jimbaba) October 17, 2018
And then back to their ‘comfortable’ chairs (how many?) for their well deserved sleep? What is the message @Ryanair? Crew room good accommodation for layover? Started disciplinary procedures already no doubt? Spy cams in every crew room?
— Evert van Zwol (@68evz) October 17, 2018
The 24 crew members spent more than seven hours in the office, with only seven chairs between them, before being moved to a VIP area with shared couches.