British Airways stewardess sacked after Snapchat rant against Nigerian passengers
The once-glamorous field of aviation has decidedly had a fall from grace of late. Whilst the last decade has seen the rise of more affordable air travel, this has unfortunately coincided with a string of rather unsavoury incidents involving crew that have not only mistreated their customers, but in some cases even endangered their safety.
Perhaps the most public of these cases of late is United Airlines' mistreatment of Dr. David Dao, who was violently dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight so that staff could take his seat. The incident which occurred in April sparked nationwide condemnation after videos circulated showing the bloodied passenger yelling "I want to go home, I want to go home".
And now scandal has crossed the Atlantic, with British Airways coming under fire after a series of Snapchats made by an air hostess were broadcast due to her exhibition of racist statements against Nigerian passengers.
23-year-old British Airways stewardess, Joanne Wickenden was fired after she posted racist statements on Snapchat about Nigerian people.
Wickenden posted on the social media platform from her car, before a flight from Heathrow airport to the Nigerian capital, Abuja. She discussed how she was planning on treating passengers during the six hour flight.
In a Snapchat video which was apparently filmed by a friend, Wickenden was heard saying "Alright, so all of you are there getting ready for your Friday night, getting in the pre-drinks, you know, as you do [...] And I’m here, getting ready to go to work, put on a yellow life jacket, point out the exits, hand out chicken or beef, what sort of Friday night is this for me?"
As can be seen in the video, the tirade quickly turned racist in nature with the air hostess proclaiming:
"‘All the Nigerians are gonna be there like ‘gimme Coca Cola, gimme me beef, why you have no beef left? I want beef.'
‘And I’m just gonna be there like, ‘Sorry sir, we ran out of beef’.
‘All the Nigerians are gonna be there asking for f****** upgrades because they haven’t got enough leg room because their B**s are in their way. Big d**** like this swinging from side to side.’"
On Tuesday, a spokesperson from the airline confirmed that Joanne Wickenden "no longer works for British Airways" and asserted that they "expect the utmost professionalism from [their] staff when they are representing British Airways."
However, speaking to the Mail Online, Wickenden has maintained her innocence and claims that the remarks she made were not intended to be malicious or offensive in nature: "I have been framed by another BA employee. They were encouraging me, egging me on to say things. They were recording me and sent it around to our friends," she alleged.
Fellow cabin crew at British Airways were alerted to the video after it had been circulated on social media. They made the unanimous decision to report Ms. Wickenden to the airline after being shocked at racist content. An acquaintance of another stewardess on the BA flight stated, "My friend was horrified. BA has a culture of dealing with things like this internally, she passed it to me because she was concerned that nothing was done."