A picture of Ryanair crew members sleeping on the floor of an airport has been debunked by security camera footage
On Oct. 14, a Facebook page called “Ryanair MUST Change” posted a picture of six employees resting uncomfortably in their uniforms with the lights on at Málaga International Airport in Spain. The picture has since been shared more than 2,000 times and sparked controversy surrounding the Irish airline’s treatment of its employees.
“This is Porto crew last night stranded on the floor of Málaga crew room. They were diverted due to the storm and the company left them there,” the caption said.
On Oct. 17, Ryanair tweeted out a video to seemingly prove that the picture was not entirely honest. “Ryanair exposes fake photo of cabin crew sleeping in crew room,” Ryanair wrote.
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In the video, as people sat in chairs, several individuals walked to the corner of the room, took off their jackets and lay down. Moments later, presumably after the photo was taken, they all stood up.
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The SNPVAC union had claimed that four crews — 24 people in all — had no food or drink as they slept on the floor, the BBC reported. The union said that the crews “had no choice” in the matter.
Ryanair responded in a statement that the photo was “clearly staged,” according to the Irish Times.
“Due to storms in Porto (13 Oct) a number of flights diverted to Malaga and as this was a Spanish national holiday, hotels were fully booked,” the statement said. “The crew spent a short period of time in the crew room before being moved to a VIP lounge, and returned to Porto the next day (none of the crew operated flights).”
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The people involved in the alleged stunt will be reprimanded, Bloomberg reported. The staff members were reportedly told in a letter that they are “required to attend an investigative meeting under the disciplinary procedure” in Dublin, Ireland.
At the meeting, the group will “discuss the circumstances surrounding the distribution on social media of a photograph which faked events that occurred on Oct. 13,” the letter says.
Ryanair did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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