A financial manager accused Ryanair of “racially profiling” her and her family after she was turned away from a flight in a furious dispute over the size of her hand luggage.
Chassidy Robertson, a 28-year-old mother of two, was returning to London last month after a week-long break in Fuerteventura, Spain, with her two children and younger sister, Danique, when she was told her priority boarding bag 10 kg was too big.
In video filmed by her sister, staff can be heard telling Ms Robertson that she can no longer fly and has to ‘leave’ the airport due to the ‘scene’ she made at the gate, as the police were called. police. the family.
Ms Robertson believes the dispute arose after staff “racially profiled” her and allegedly told her they “didn’t like” the way she looked at an employee as she walked through the door.
Ryanair has denied the allegations, calling them “completely false” and insisting the passenger bag was simply too big for its size restrictions and needed to go in the hold.
The bag in the middle of the line, which ended with Mrs. Robertson and her family being led out of the line.
Chassidy Robertson, from Putney, London, pictured with her two children while on holiday.
The airline says Ms Robertson was kicked out because she became “abusive” and tried to board the plane without permission.
The confrontation left Ms Robertson feeling ‘attacked’ and ’embarrassed’, as well as distraught that she was desperate to board the flight, having run out of formula for her one-year-old daughter, who has various allergies.
Ms Robertson had paid an extra £25 to upgrade her sister to priority boarding and allow a 10kg bag on the flight, but the airline said it was the size of her bag and not the weight, which meant she would have to pay extra. to go in the warehouse.
The mother-of-two claims the dispute erupted because they were told they hadn’t paid priority for the bag and that staff hadn’t liked a “dirty look” or “sideways glance” she’d allegedly given a member of staff. while scanning your shipment. approve.
Ryanair have since insisted that while they had paid for the 10kg cabin bag, it did not fit within the dimensions allowed for the flight, so the group was advised to pay a standard rate to put it in the hold. several times before “breaking through”. the door’.
Concerned for her one-year-old daughter, who had run out of the prescription formula she relies on due to allergies, the mother broke down in tears and was forced to book a flight on a different airline to return to the UK. .
In an angry letter to the airline, Ms Robertson told them she believes the incident happened “because she is a black woman” and vowed to “make sure it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Ms Robertson, from Putney, London, said: “It bothers me so much to even talk about it now.” I think it was racism. My children have never experienced anything like this, my son was crying.
“Just wanted to figure it out, since my one-year-old daughter has medical issues, she has a special formula that was out of stock that day because I didn’t bring more for the holidays.”
Concerned for her one-year-old daughter, who had run out of the prescription formula she relies on due to allergies, the mother was unable to hold back her tears and was forced to book a flight on another airline to return to the UK .
Ms Robertson’s sister, Danique, began filming the exchange when the dispute heated up.
Ryanair called the police to remove the family after claiming they became ‘abusive’, something Ms Robertson denies.
Ms Robertson, 28, said officials banned her from flying because she was ‘racially profiled’
“My great-grandmother had just passed away unexpectedly, so we wanted to come back that day to be with family. However, they did not want to listen to it, they only said that we will not fly today.
He also claimed that one of the handling agents told his sister, who had been filming the exchange, that if she deleted one of their videos, they would be allowed on board, before ‘laughing’ at them and even denying them entry when did.
Ms Robertson said: ‘The police were called on us. At no time were we violent or threatening.
‘Other people waiting to board the plane were saying ‘how can you be doing this to this woman and her children?’ A lady was crying because of how they treated us.’
In the footage, a member of staff can be heard telling Ms Robertson that she doesn’t have priority and would still have to pay at the door, leading to further confusion.
During the confrontation, a frustrated Danique can be heard in the video quoting Danielle Bregoli as she threatens, “You’re lucky I don’t live here, I’d catch you outside.”
The police escorted the group to the Ryanair desk, where they were told the next flight was on Friday, which meant they would have to find accommodation for another four nights.
With no formula, and unable to afford this, Ms. Robertson ended up booking them on an easyJet flight for later that day.
Ms. Robertson is now afraid to fly again in case she is faced with a similar situation.
Ryanair staff allegedly ‘laughed’ at the family when they were denied access to the flight.
She said: ‘When we were boarding they scanned our boarding passes and looked at our passports and let us through. Everything was fine. We were in the small tunnel about to board the plane and they called me.
“She told me we didn’t have priority baggage and we weren’t flying today because she didn’t like the way I looked at her when I scanned my boarding pass. This made no sense to me. I had priority booking on my phone, it was on the app. She was denying that we had it.
“When I walked through (the gate), I hadn’t even looked at it. She was more focused on my children and getting them ahead.
“Regardless of whether I looked at her weird, which I didn’t, that’s not a reason not to let someone on the plane.
“I didn’t think this would guarantee that we wouldn’t fly, so I went back to my sister and kids. Then we were forcibly removed from the line. They started pushing me with my one-year-old daughter in my hands. My son was crying, my daughter was crying. I felt so ashamed and attacked.
‘I asked, ‘Is it racially motivated?’ They laughed and said “if that’s what you want to think”.
“Looking back at it, tears come to my eyes because my kids had to see that.”
Since returning home, the mother has sent a complaint to Ryanair via email, but felt their response showed “no remorse” as it denied any racism and only reiterated that her sister’s bag was too big. She now, she is terrified to get on another plane and travel abroad in case the same thing happens again.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “This passenger’s cabin bag exceeded the permitted dimensions for her flight from Fuerteventura to Luton (July 17).
As per Ryanair’s terms and conditions, which were accepted by the passenger at the time of booking, oversized hand luggage must be placed in the hold of the aircraft for a standard fee which was disclosed to this passenger at the check-in desk. and again at the door.
“This passenger refused to pay the standard baggage fee and abused staff, including forcing herself through the gate and onto the aircraft, to which gate staff immediately requested police assistance and the passenger was removed.”