Elderly victim of Ryanair racist incident tears up, reveals she's in 'shock' after video went viral

Maria Varela
Oct 23, 2018
11:59 A.M.
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The Black woman who was verbally abused by a white man while on board a flight breaks down as she reveals in an interview the turmoil she felt following the incident. 


A black elderly woman who was racially abused by a white airline passenger is now speaking up about her shock following the maltreatment she experienced. The woman tearfully revealed she’s had sleepless nights and is depressed because of it. 

Source: ITV News



Delsie Gayle was traveling home from Barcelona with her daughter on a Ryanair flight when the white man seated next to her insisted she move seats. When she refused, the man threatened to move her and even called her an “ugly black [explicit language].” 

A fellow passenger caught the confrontation on video revealing the white man ranting at Gayle and even calling her a “stupid ugly cow.” Gayle’s daughter reasoned that her mother was disabled but the man replied,

“I don’t care whether she’s [explicit language] disabled or not – if I tell her to get out she gets out.”


The video has since gone viral after the passenger who recorded it posted it online. (Watch the video here.)  Apart from its racist undertones, the airline staff’s poor handling of the situation was also brought to light. The Ryanair employees did little to diffuse the situation. A passenger had to initiate the move to calm down Gayle’s attacker. 



Following the incident, a distraught Gayle and her daughter spoke to ITV News and recalled her shock on being on the receiving end of the man’s racial rant. She said she was on a trip with her daughter so she could relieve herself of the depression over losing her husband a year ago. But what the man did made her feel even lower. 

“I feel very low. He paid a fare a to go on holiday, I've paid mine so why does he abuse me for that due to the colour of my skin?"

Gayle revealed she’s had sleepless nights questioning why she was treated that way. 


“I feel really depressed about it. I go to my bed and say 'what have I done?' I haven't done anything for you to attack me. Because of the colour of my skin I was abused like that?"

Source: ITV News


Her daughter also expressed her dismay over the airline’s improper handling of the abusive incident. 

"Nothing was done and I know if that was a black person racially abusing an elderly woman the police would have been called. When I saw the video I felt he was the victim - that's the way RyanAir was treating it."

She added that the airline was unprofessional both on the plane and after. 



Following the incident, the airline tweeted that they’ve reported it to the police. Ryanair refused to comment further because it was already a police matter. However, a spokesperson for Essex police said they take prejudice-based crime seriously and that they’re working closely with the airline during the investigation. 



Meanwhile, David Lawrence, the man who recorded the video also expressed his shock after seeing what transpired. 

"I became very distressed because I'm filming this and I'm looking at the other passengers wondering who's going to step in and say something because you have two females being abused by this male.”


There is no word on what happened to the man who verbally abused Gayle, but according to her, 

"He do it with me and he gets away, he'll do it to somebody else.”


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