On Monday, higher-ups at Ireland-based Ryanair, upon discovery of such a photo, took the reprimand avenue to extremes by firing all six crew members.
Let's face it, an image of airline crew members sleeping on the floor during what we presume is a shift never translates well in the optics department. And so it makes sense that if such a pic gets the attention of airline superiors, the best thing to do is to take that delinquent crew to task, right?
The crew members were lying on the floor at Malaga Airport in Spain. But the action wasn't taken on account that the Ryanair employees were sleeping on the job; instead, the airline claims the image was staged as part of a protest.
The backstory on the incident started on Oct. 14th, when a storm diverted four planes in the Ryanair fleet to Malaga Airport, which services the Costa del Sol part of Spain. Ryanair told the crew from the four flights to rest in one of the airport's rooms overnight until the storm cleared the next day. There was one problem, the room only had eight seats while the combined crew in the room totaled 24.
Upset with that overnight directive, the staff decided to protest that decision by taking a picture of the crew presumably sleeping on the floor as a way to get a message across about the reluctance of their superiors to provide decent lodging. Evidently, that message didn't go over well with Ryanair's powers that be who rendered the six folks in the picture jobless.
Ryanair exposes fake photo of cabin crew sleeping in crew room. Watch video here: pic.twitter.com/tzTn6EHsKH— Ryanair (@Ryanair) October 17, 2018
Much to Ryanair's chagrin, the photo has since caused a stir on social media, in support of the crew. The cabin crew union that represented the former employees attacked the airline for its "awful" decision. Ryanair spokespeople shot back by reporting that the sacking was a response to what it called gross misconduct on behalf of the fired staff.
The motive, in turn, isn't going over well among Twitter users who accused Ryanair of neglecting to provide proper accommodations for the crew. Had that been taken care of, some argue, the staged shot never would have been taken. However, Ryanair claimed that the landing of the four planes at Malago took place on a national holiday and all hotels in that area were booked solid.
The union of the fired crew is said to be looking into the matter but have yet to announce any actions it will take.