A viral tweet showing a backless easyJet plane seat has been revealed as misleading.
Yesterday, Matthew Harris, a passenger on one of the airline’s flights from Luton to Geneva, shared a picture of a woman sitting in a seat which was missing a back.
In the post, he wrote “How can this be allowed”, tagging easyJet’s official Twitter account and its press account.
The tweet soon went viral, garnering over 20,000 reactions at time of writing. Some called the company a “disgrace”, while others called it “hazardous”.
That’s such a disgrace for this company, this lady should get free tickets for life.— bocholt127 (@bocholt127) August 6, 2019
That's crazy. Bad enough for avfully able bodied person, but with back or limb problems, no support is crazy and potentially hazardous— Rosesarered (@Rosesarered1957) August 6, 2019
But is the image all that it seems?
In a later tweet, Harris added more context – explaining that the woman had been moved to another seat once the flight was boarded.
“Not sure what would have happened if the flight was full,” he added.
But when contacted by Yahoo UK earlier today, a representative for easyJet issued a statement explaining the backless seat was one of two “inoperative” seats on the plane, and no passengers were sat in them for the flight.
One has to wonder how safe the rest of the plane was. This was her seat. The lady was moved to a spare seat once the flight was fully boarded. Not sure what would have happened if the flight was full.— Matthew Harris (@mattiasharris) August 6, 2019
My partner took the photo.
-- end --
“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,” said the easyJet statement.
For background, the representative added: “To be absolutely clear the passenger has sat in this seat for the photo – they were not permitted to travel in the seat.”
Nor was there a shortage of seats: the flight departed with five spare seats onboard, not including the two “backless” seats – which were repaired last night, the representative confirmed.
While easyJet have now clarified the situation, it’s not the first airline to be publicly called out by a passenger on Twitter.
Early this year, Emily O’Connor, 21, from Solihull, claimed Thomas Cook staff threatened to remove her from a flight she boarded from Birmingham to Tenerife – after she was reluctant to cover up her “inappropriate” outfit.