Aviation

EasyJet responds to claims it made a passenger fly in a backless seat

EasyJet has hit back at a misleading viral image that seemingly showed a passenger seated on a backless seat.

Yesterday, a picture posted on social media from a flight reportedly leaving London seemed to show a female passenger seated in a backless chair.

“#easyjet beats @Ryanair to have backless seats. @IATA @EASA this is flight 2021 Luton to Geneva. How can this be allowed. @GeneveAeroport @easyJet_press @easyJet,” Twitter user Matthew Harris wrote.

The image lit up the Twitter-sphere and caught the attention of several British publications, including The Sun, Mail Online and The Mirror,  who reported on the image.

But the image, as it turns out, was posted out of context.

EasyJet has said that no passengers were assigned to the backless, broken seats. The person pictured in the seat was not permitted to sit there and was moved to an operative seat once the plane was fully boarded, easyJet told CNNThe user who posted the image admitted this a few hours later with a follow-up tweet.

“Be assured safety is our highest priority and passengers would have never been allowed to fly in these seats as they were inoperative,” EasyJet said in a statement. “If the flight had been full then … passengers would have been offered an alternate flight as they would not have been permitted to travel in these seats.”

The original post has since received more than 33 thousand likes and nearly 17 and a half thousand retweets at time of publishing.

Alongside that the post has received around 2.3 thousand comments, a number of them criticising easyJet’s response to the misleading image and the airline’s PR response to the image.

“Hi Matthew, thanks for bringing this to our attention, before we can investigate this could I ask you to remove the photograph & then DM us more info regarding this, so we can best assist you,” the airline tweeted.

“Absolutely not,” Harris responded.

The request to have the photo removed has been considered somewhat of a PR mishap and not part of a broader conspiracy over backless seats (which are at least a better alternative to the standing plane seat).

“One has to wonder how safe the rest of the plane was. This was her seat. The lady was moved to a spare seat once the flight was fully boarded. Not sure what would have happened if the flight was full,” Harris later clarified in a follow-up tweet.

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