Airline says photo of crew members sleeping on floor after flight cancellation is “fake news”

Followers still suggest that the video doesn’t discredit what the crew union claimed

Ryanair has found itself deep in controversy after a photo showing six cabin crew members left without a place to sleep following their shift on Saturday went viral. The image posted to Ryanair MUST Change features uniformed employees lying on the floor of a crew room in Malaga, Spain, after their flight to Portugal was canceled because of a storm. The post claims that “the company left them there.”

According to a statement from the Portuguese cabin crew union SNPVAC, the employees pictured were just a few of the 24 who were left in the room for four and a half hours, without access to food or drinks and only eight available seats.

“They had no other choice, as the photo illustrates, than to attempt to rest on the room’s floor,” the statement reads, before pointing out that the airport lounge they were then moved to for four more hours didn’t offer better accommodations. “We point out that, in these situations, it is the legal responsibility of the Airline to provide suitable accommodation, namely a hotel room, so that crew can perform their rest under the national and European legal requirements, in order to be able to operate the following duty safely.”

Former Ryanair pilot Jim Atkinson reposted the original photo to his Twitter with a description of the unfortunate situation. “RYR is earning €1.25 billion this year but will not put stranded crews in a hotel for the night,” he wrote. Then the airline’s chief operations officer, Peter Bellew, responded.

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