I find myself in the strange position of defending European budget carrier Ryanair, for it seems like it is being unfairly blamed for a mess onboard it did not create.
Dear Repulsive Passenger, Don’t Make A Mess Onboard Airplane
The following video, which showcases a mess onboard, has gone viral.
‘Dirtiest Ryanair flight ever’ video shows plane in shocking state: ‘Gross’ https://t.co/gG6147q5ZE pic.twitter.com/Fjce7urYs5
— New York Post (@nypost) September 7, 2022
The video shows a couple finding a huge pile of crumbs of food and trash underneath their seat as they boarded the aircraft. According to the couple, the cabin crew informed them that they do not clean between flights (Ryanair later disputed that, saying “our aircraft are cleaned during every turnaround”). The couple was flying from Tenerife South Airport (TFS) to London Stansted (STN) and like many Ryanair routes, the plane makes a very short turn in Tenerife.
At first, Ryanair tweeted back:
“Let us fix that ‘Dirtiest passenger ever'”
It has since deleted the tweet, but the debate rages on.
It is not unreasonable for a passenger to expect a clean aircraft and it appears that the flight was an anomaly, but I find myself far more offended at the sloppy passenger(s) who made that mess versus the airline. What kind of repulsive slob treats their aircraft seat like they are sitting in a dump? Have people no shame? It’s not okay simply to dump your trash on the floor of the aircraft and if you make a mess, you should clean it up.
On the other hand, what do you expect for a £20 fare? The very essence of the Ryanair business model is cheap flights with no-frills, bus-like service onboard. Do you think a bus is cleaned at every stop?
The counterargument is that there are certain things that are so fundamental they cannot be traded away to save money. For example, seat belts cannot be sacrificed to save on weight nor can seat pitch be shrunk to such a level that passengers cannot safely evacuate in case of an emergency. Does the same apply for cleanliness? Practically, another counterargument is that legroom is so tight that it leads to spillages by virtue of the lack of elbow room and tray table space.
Wherever you fall on the issue of how much an airline must clean planes before each flight, I hope you can agree that passengers should do a better job of being mindful that they sit in a shared space and that treating the floor like a rubbish bin is disgusting and unacceptable.
image: @scottandsals / TikTok
Mankind, on the whole, is disgusting.
Yeah!!! You tell ‘em, braddah!
Matthew, I recently flew HEL-LAX on FinnAir in biz. I couldn’t believe the mess the person behind me left when deplaning. Nuts, chips and candy all over the place, crushed and ground into the carpet. I know 2 year olds that don’t make that kind of mess.
A microcosm of we have become,where we are as a society at large ?
Given the photos of the Turkish Business Lounge in IST you posted recently this is an issue with society as a whole, not just Ryanair passengers. People have lost all respect for others and their surroundings.
The ‘what can you expect for £20?’ line isn’t quite disingenuous, but disregards the fact some pax on Ryanair will pay a lot more than that, maybe 10 or more times the amount. As an example, Jet2 have got flights to a fair few destinations from BHX and MAN which in theory should be more convenient (because they are direct) and cheaper (because they’re a low-cost airline) than Lufthansa. Even if one were to ignore the lowish frequencies (usually 2-3 times a week), once you add luggage they are invariably more expensive than LH, often charging more than the LH ‘business saver’ fare. Plenty of FR pax flying to/from Tenerife will be paying 3 figures per segment to sit in those filthy seats.
Rather than the ‘what can you expect for £20?’, if you wanted to defend Ryanair, you could have made a stronger argument by pointing out that it’s not unknown for premium cabins to be in a disgusting state even where people may have paid thousands to sit there. In a way, that doesn’t even amount to whataboutism, as cleaning services will often be provided for the same handling contractors working across multiple airlines and aircraft types.
*by (not for!) the same contractors
Agreed. The “what can you expect” comment is borderline classist. Just because someone is flying for $20 doesn’t meant they are the type of person that leaves trash, nor does it mean they don’t deserve a clean plane. If you treat people like they deserve less, then don’t be surprised when they care less in return.
I’m not going to join in the discussion somehow linking the cost of the flight and the condition of that row, nor whether the actions of those specific people are an indication of society at large,
Ryanair did not create that mess. Why doesn’t Ryanair simply publicize the names of the people who occupied those seats during the flight in question? This behavior is similar to much of the trolling on the Internet – it happens since people believe they will remain anonymous.
Let me guess: the flight was going or coming from the UK. No need to explain.
Must have been vacationing Brazilians.
@Aaron: or maybe a member of your family.
No, no Brazilians in my family.
can both not be true. yes, the previous passenger should clean up after themself. But also, the airline is ultimately responsible for making sure the new passenger has a reasonably clean seat when they board.
Yep, there are two parties here, and both need to be responsible. I’d say first, the passenger needs to avoid making a mess, but who knows, maybe there was some accident like Matthew alludes to regarding elbow room. Probably makes it even harder to clean up if you’re not the guy with the vacuum. On the other hand, the airline needs to address the mess for the (minimal) comfort and sanitation for the next passengers.
As for boorish behavior, think we are going to see more of it if work at home continues – the less we interact with others on a professional level, the less people will be socialized to be decent. The next generation already is more self-focused than any other in history. They’ll only get worse.
You beat me to the point: I don’t think we have the full story what happened. Let’s say someone opens a bag of something and it spills and makes a mess? Seat space is tight and you don’t have a vacuum. Should you kick out the row of passengers to clean it up with your hand for 10 minutes? I try to minimize mess but sometimes things happen.
People who work from home aren’t trolls living in a basement. They interact with their friends and family and community instead of being forced to commute an hour each way, five days a week, to a cubicle farm filled with people they have zero interest in getting to know simply so a middle manager can keep his job as the watcher of break times.
There should be a refundable deposit. If people can manage not to damage, mess or cause drama a fee is credited back. And after three incidents you’re done! I’m over the boorish behavior!
Trash passengers leaving trash in a trash airline. Not sure if we are supposed to be surprised, this is standard trash behavior.
“ What kind of repulsive slob treats their aircraft seat like they are sitting in a dump? ”
The kind of person that willingly subjects themselves to being treated like garbage in the first place by standing in line for hours, being pushed around by airport security, talked down to by airline staff, and crammed into tiny metal sardine cans.
When you treat everyone like your worst passenger, most become your worst passenger.
Equating this to a bus is unfair. If there’s a dirty seat on a bus, then you can simply select another or stand. On a plane, seats are assigned with little option to select another. Therefore, it is reasonable for the passenger to expect a clean seating area.
Arguably, if the entire bus were completely trashed then the operator may take it out of service for cleaning.