British Airways investigates air hostess over racist rant against Nigerian passengers
A British Airways stewardess behind a racist Snapchat rant against Nigerian passengers is being investigated by the airline.
The 23-year-old, a member of mixed fleet cabin crew, sparked outrage after recording the racist clip in her BA uniform before flying from London Heathrow to Abuja on Friday night. A source told MailOnline that the video which was captioned “I can’t cope with this flight” was circulated among “horrified” BA cabin crew who are “very concerned.”
The airline has launched an investigation into the controversial footage. In a statement the company said: “We expect the utmost professionalism from our staff when they are representing British Airways. We are investigating this video.” A shocked staff member said BA should apologise to its Nigerian passengers.
In the expletive-filled footage, Ms Joanne Wickenden said: “All Nigerians are going to be asking for f****** upgrades” after claiming the men would need more leg room in an apparent joke about the size of their privates. During the one-minute clip she also revealed how she was going to deal with passengers on the six-hour flight.
She said: “Alright, so all of yous are there getting ready for your Friday night, getting in the pre-drinks, you know, as you do. And I’m here, getting ready to go to work, put on a yellow life jacket, point out the exits, hand out chicken or beef, what sort of Friday night is this for me?
“The upside is I’m going to Nigeria and there’s gonna be bare B**, I’m joking, I’m joking. All the Nigerians are gonna be there like ‘gimme Coca Cola, gimme me beef, why you have no beef left? I want beef.
“And I’m just gonna be there like, ‘Sorry sir, we ran out of beef’. ‘All the Nigerians are gonna be there asking for f****** upgrades because they haven’t got enough leg room because their B**s are in their way. Big d**** like this swinging from side to side.”
Wickenden is an aspiring actress who hunted for male company on the Plenty of Fish dating website, according to MailOnline. She described herself as a “Princess” who likes a laugh as she boasted about her job as a flight attendant on the site. Ms Wickenden, who is believed to have been suspended, refused to comment about the video at the home she shares with her mother and father in Fareham, Hampshire, newspaper said.
But a close friend defended the flight attendant and told MailOnline the film was recorded by a BA colleague, saying: “She’s not racist, it was a joke between two friends. It wasn’t meant to be racist. She is not saying she dislikes Nigerians and she’s not saying that anyone is better than anyone else.”
The 5ft 11in air hostess, who made the racist film, said she has been single for two years as she boasted about her job on Plenty of Fish.
The friend continued: “The other colleague just wanted her to impersonate what goes on on the flight. Albeit it was an inappropriate comment to make. She’s very upset because now the whole world knows her face and thinks she’s a racist.
“It’s like someone had a vendetta (by releasing the video) instead of filing the complaint in a normal way. Everything is still up in the air at the moment because of the investigation.” But a former school friend added: “I was disgusted, it’s so embarrassing. She was renowned for making inappropriate jokes at school.”
‘I’m a flight attendant living in Crawley. I’ve been single for 2 years now and miss a bit of male company,’ she wrote. ‘I’m outgoing, like to have a laugh and enjoy socialising. I’m the sort of person where the little things mean the most.