The Irish airline Ryanair posted an Instagram video Thursday in which it appeared to troll angry customers.
The video, titled “Ryanair Crawling Back Meme,” depicted a plane with a smug look which segued into a contented laugh and an “All right!” as passengers disembarked and another Ryanair plane taxied in the background. The post was captioned, “When you realise no matter how much they complain they will always still fly with you.”
“Welcome back to the party,” said Ryanair in the post.
“NAh, y’all still have my $500,” replied a user, “naetan_,” while other users simply reacted with “LOL” or laughing emojis.
The post appears to be against the backdrop of a reportedly rare air traffic meltdown in the U.K. which led to the cancellation of 1,500 flights Aug. 28. The service interruption occurred during one of the busiest summer travel periods, leaving thousands of passengers stranded abroad who were looking to return home from summer holidays. (RELATED: Biden Pushes Airlines To Reimburse Delayed Flights With Meals, Hotels)
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NATS (formerly National Air Traffic Services), reportedly the U.K.’s leading air traffic controller, identified the root cause of the incident Wednesday. A small but important component of its air traffic control technical infrastructure “was found to have encountered an extremely rare set of circumstances presented by a flight plan that included two identically named, but separate waypoint markers outside of UK airspace. This led to a ‘critical exception’ whereby both the primary system and its backup entered a fail-safe mode,” the shutdown triggering the chaos, per a NATS statement. The disruption was a one-in-a-15-million event, the statement noted, adding an apology from CEO Martin Rolfe.
Airlines began demanding compensation for the disruption, claiming it could cost them up to £100 million ($126 million) being paid to stranded passengers, Reuters reported. Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, slammed NAT’s statement as “whitewash,” citing numerous inaccuracies, per a Ryanair statement.
One passenger, however, criticized Ryanair over allegedly being bumped off an overbooked Ryanair flight and forced into a 26-hour delay. Ryanair, the passenger continued, could not blame his experience on the general disruption. Another passenger accused Ryanair of leaving passengers high and dry and laughing at them during the disruption.