James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
EasyJet Passenger Pictured Sitting On Plane Seat With No Back
6 August 2019, 11:45 | Updated: 7 August 2019, 07:00
A row on Twitter erupted when budget airline EasyJet asked a passenger to delete a photo of a woman sat on a backless seat apparently taken on a flight from Luton to Geneva.
The photo, reportedly to have been taken during the decent into Geneva Airport, shows a female passenger perched on a seat which did not have a back.
Matthew Harris, a passenger who uploaded the photo to Twitter, questioned whether the damaged seat was allowed on a flight.
"#easyjet beats @Ryanair to have backless seats," he tweeted.
"@IATA @EASA this is flight 2021 Luton to Geneva. How can this be allowed. @GeneveAeroport @easyJet_press @easyJet".
But in a reply to the tweet, the airline sparked a row when they said they would begin to investigate only after the photo was deleted.
"Hi Matthew, thanks for bringing this to our attention, before we can investigate this could I ask you to remove the photograph and then DM us more info regarding this, so we can best assist you," the reply said.
Hi Matthew, thanks for bringing this to our attention, before we can investigate this could I ask you to remove the photograph & then DM us more info regarding this, so we can best assist you. Ross https://t.co/Qq2zhBAizh— easyJet (@easyJet) August 6, 2019
A spokesperson for the airline told LBC the passenger had sat in the seat for the photo, and passengers were not permitted to travel in these seats.
The flight also departed with five spare seats onboard.
An EasyJet statement said: "No passengers were permitted to fly in these seats as they were inoperative awaiting repair. Safety is our highest priority and easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all safety guidelines."
Asked about the safety of the passengers in the row immediately behind the defunct seats, the spokesperson said the fleet is operated in "strict compliance with all safety guidelines" and "had any other seats of been affected they too would have been declared inoperative".
But after the airline asked Matthew to take down the photo 'before investigating', EasyJet began to trend on Twitter.
Users questioned the airline's culture to safety, whilst other defended EasyJet.
If that's the response to visible safety issues, what is the corporate culture like for things the passengers can't see?— Neil Dance (@NeilDance) August 6, 2019
Why would your decision on whether to investigate hinge on whether the picture is on Twitter or not? Genuinely curious.— Si (@hwrth_) August 6, 2019
Lol, this is so made up. 100% you did not sit on these seats and they were left empty for the flight. You just took a picture there for twitter.— Nik Radmore (@nikradmore) August 6, 2019
Other users took the opportunity to poke fun at the situation.
''Please place your seat-back in an upright position. For those without seat-backs please assume the position.''— The Sparkster (@SparkyInTheUK) August 6, 2019