Ryanair fires six crew members for ‘fake’ photo

The low-cost carrier said the staff were dismissed for staging a fake photograph to support a false claim that they were forced to sleep on the floor of the Malaga crew room. (Social Media)
Updated 07 November 2018

Ryanair fires six crew members for ‘fake’ photo

  • Six Portugal-based employees decided to lie on the floor at Malaga airport in protest at what they slammed as inadequate accommodation
  • Ryanair is currently engaged in a struggle with European cabin crew members as well as various governments over working conditions

MADRID: Ryanair said Wednesday it had fired six cabin crew who took a photograph of themselves simulating having to sleep on the floor in Spain’s Malaga airport as part of a protest over conditions.
The low-cost carrier said the staff were dismissed for 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.”
It added this had damaged the airline’s reputation, just as Ryanair is engaged in a struggle with European cabin crew members as well as various governments over working conditions and claims of its disregard for national labor laws.
Unions said that on October 14, as storms raged in southern Spain and Portugal, more than 20 cabin crew had to spend the night at Malaga airport.
They were put in the Ryanair crew room overnight and then moved to a VIP lounge normally used by clients at around six in the morning, both equipped with only chairs or sofas, Spain’s SITCPLA cabin crew union said.
During that time, six Portugal-based employees decided to lie on the floor for the photo in protest at what they slammed as inadequate accommodation.
Ryanair’s chief operations officer Peter Bellew apologized on Twitter, saying that “all hotels were completely booked out in Malaga.”
“Apologies to the crew we could not find accommodation.”
Luciana Passo, head of Portugal’s SNPVAC union, acknowledged it was a protest photo.
“There were 24 cabin crew members in a room with eight chairs,” she said according to local news agency Lusa.
“Some of them decided to show their indignation by lying on the floor as the other chairs were taken, and one person, who wasn’t part of the crew, decided to publish the photo on social media. And they end up fired.”
SITCPLA meanwhile questioned whether it really was impossible to find hotels in a tourist magnet such as Malaga and its surroundings in southern Spain, especially in low season October.
Ryanair has been hit by strikes by cabin crew members for months. This has forced the airline to start recognizing some cabin crew and pilots unions as it looks to avoid further stoppages.


Bad week for Mexico tourism capped by mis-translations

Updated 08 August 2020

Bad week for Mexico tourism capped by mis-translations

  • The snafu has prompted former president Felipe Calderón to write in his Twitter account: “Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!”
  • Local media reports say the errors may have been introduced by a web services supplier angry about not being paid

MEXICO CITY: It has been a bad week for Mexican tourism promotion, and it got worse Friday when the English language version of the country’s tourism website appeared with hilarious mis-translations.
Entire states like Hidalgo and Guerrero apparently got machine translated as “Noble” and “Warrior.”
Worse for the VisitMexico.com site, there was systematic and inexplicable re-invention of the names of some fairly well-known tourist towns. The Caribbean resort of Tulum somehow became “Jumpsuit.” The nearby lagoon of Bacalar, on the Caribbean coast, was switched to the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
The snafu came one day after the US State Department cited the high number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico for issuing a “do not travel” advisory for the country, its highest level of warning. Hours earlier, the resort of Acapulco was forced to pull “anything goes” tourism ads that showed people partying without masks and the words “there are no rules.”
But the problems at VisitMexico.com drew howls of hilarity — and anger. The Pacific coast resort of Puerto Escondido became “Hidden Port,” a literal translation, and the northern city of Torreon became “Turret,” which is kind of close.
Some name changes were just inexplicable and appeared to have as much to do with invention as simple translation. The central Mexican town of Aculco somehow became “I Blame,” and the northern Gulf coast city of Ciudad Madero became “Log.”
“Stop making Mexico look ridiculous!” former President Felipe Calderón wrote in his Twitter account.
Mexico’s Tourism Department issued a statement apologizing for the apparently out-sourced errors, but then made it sound like something sinister had been involved.
“The Tourism Department expresses its most sincere apologies to the public and users for the effects that have occurred on the website VisitMexico,” the statement said. “Moreover, we make it known that these acts aim to damage the image of the website and the department, and so therefore a criminal complaint has been filed and appropriate legal actions will be taken against those responsible.”
The department did not explain that claim, but local media reported the dispute might involve a web services supplier angry about not being paid.
On Thursday, officials took down a pair of Acapulco video ads touting the faded resort’s reputation as a nightclubbing spot — despite the fact nightclubs are currently closed to enforce social distancing. They said the ads weren’t appropriate during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have stopped being a postcard from the past, today we have changed the rules,” says a narration in one of the videos. “In fact, there are no rules,” says another voice, as people can be seen eating bizarre meals and going out to night clubs. “Eat whatever you want, have fun day and night and into the early morning hours ... find new friends and new loves.”