Ryanair fires staff for allegedly faking photo of sleeping on airport floor
Posted November 7, 2018 11:23 a.m. EST
(CNN) — Ryanair says it has sacked six employees for allegedly staging a photo of themselves sleeping on the floor at Malaga Airport in Spain, where cabin crew had to stay overnight because of weather issues.
The image surfaced on October 14 after flights to the Portuguese city of Porto were disrupted because of storms and several flights were diverted to Malaga. The photo was then widely shared online.
Security footage then released by the budget airline showed the employees getting into position on the floor for the photo. After the photo is taken, the flight crew can be seen getting up and walking away.
Ryanair confirmed the staff were fired on November 5 for "breach of contract on grounds of gross misconduct."
Portuguese union SNPVAC has not responded to CNN's request for comment on the video, or the firing of the employees.
In October, the union alleged the staff had no access to food, drink and were forced to sleep on the floor.
"The stranded Crew, in a gesture of protest, took a photo that immediately became viral: Laying on the floor was the only option to rest; their "suitable accommodation," SNPVAC said in a statement released in October.
Ryanair says the staffers spent only a short period of time in the crew room before being moved to a VIP lounge
The carrier said "hotels were fully booked" because of a national holiday.
The company claims the employees' behavior "damaged their employer's reputation and caused an irreparable breach of trust."