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Passengers Erupt In Protest After Crew Tries To Eject Two Black Men From Plane For Being 'Disobedient'

Passengers Erupt In Protest After Crew Tries To Eject Two Black Men From Plane For Being 'Disobedient'

Passengers aboard an EasyJet flight from London Gatwick Airport to Malaga in Spain banded together to protest the removal of two Black passengers from the plane.

An argument between the passengers and the flight crew broke out on the plane during its taxi before hitting the runway at a London airport on August 5th.

The two young men were going to be ejected for allegedly "huffing at a member of the crew" for being asked to put their shoes on prior to takeoff because they were sitting in the emergency exit row.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, witnesses on the plane said the crew overreacted when the two men "huffed" at their request.

Footage of the airplane mutiny in support of the two Black passengers was recorded by 28-year-old Luke Gayle and shared on Twitter.

The plane was forced to turn around, and when it reached the gate, a female crew member contacted the police to report the altercation.

She told them the conflict involved two "disobedient passengers" on board.

Four armed Sussex officers then entered the cabin, removed the mens' luggage, and confiscated their passports.

But as both passengers were about to be escorted towards the exit, fellow passengers verbally objected their removal, as seen in the video.

One woman yelled:

"No, no, no, don't do that. Don't get off, sit down. Don't get off."

Gayle, who was sitting three rows in front of the two men, recalled what followed when the officers tried to remove the two men.

"They said they were there to prevent a breach of the peace and escort two men off the plane, but as soon as the man was asked to leave he attempted to and everyone said, 'No, sit back down again'."

You can watch the footage below.

Gayle told MailOnline passengers were "left waiting for two to three hours with no update - it was absolutely disgraceful."

He went on to suggest the incident may have been an example of racial bias.

"I am a racial justice ambassador and I kind of know how unconscious racial bias works."
"Obviously it's very difficult in these situations to say it was a racial issue, it's difficult to prove that, however, was there some kind of unconscious bias there?"
"Because it seems so dramatic to call the police and have a plane with 160-odd passengers turn around and be delayed for someone huffing at them. I mean surely as cabin crew you are trained on how to deal with those situations effectively."

After the incident, the captain made an announcement that a replacement crew was taking over.

EasyJet later claimed the replacement crew took over because the existing flight attendants had exceeded their working hours, not because of the passengers' objections.

The two passengers remained on board, and the flight headed towards Malaga, three hours after their scheduled departure time.

Gayle said of the passenger protest's outcome:

"My faith was then restored in humanity as the whole flight said it was unacceptable."

In response to discriminatory allegations, the airline issued the following statement:

"EasyJet does not discriminate against any individual. Safety is our highest priority and there is nothing to suggest that discrimination played any part in the issue onboard."
"An issue arose onboard the flight during taxi, the aircraft returned to stand and was met by airport police to resolve the issue before safely departing with all passengers onboard."
"Our crew must ensure that safety requirements are followed by all passengers and as part of their role must check prior to take-off that everyone is compliant with these."
"This is particularly important for passengers seated in emergency exits rows where crew ensure there are no loose items during take-off. "

The airline said they received customer complaints and they are currently in the process of reviewing them.

"We take feedback of this nature seriously and have been in touch with them to discuss their experience and assure them that we will review this internally."
"The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is our highest priority."