British Airways has sacked Joanne Wickenden, a stewardess who posted a racist Snapchat rant attacking Nigerian passengers. She was fired after a two-hour meeting with her bosses.
Wickenden sparked outrage after recording the racist clip in her BA uniform before flying from London Heathrow to Abuja on Friday. In a statement on Tuesday, the airline said, “She no longer works for British Airways. We expect the utmost professionalism from our staff when they are representing British Airways.”
The 23-year-old, who wants to be an actress, told friends, “I am not a racist,” and claimed the sickening video was “just a joke.” She told MailOnline, “I have been set up by another BA employee. They were encouraging me, egging me on to say things. They were recording me and sent it around to our friends. “I don’t want to fly anymore.’
A friend said the unnamed employee wanted Wickenden to “impersonate what goes on on the flight.” The video, which was captioned, ‘I can’t cope with this flight’ – was circulated among BA cabin crew. Another shocked staff member said BA should apologise to its Nigerian passengers.
In the expletive-filled footage, Wickenden had said, “All Nigerians are going to be asking for f****** upgrades. Alright, so all of you 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.”
British Airways Regional Commercial Manager, West Africa, Kola Olayinka, confirmed the sack of the stewardess. A statement from Olayinka read in part, “I can confirm that BA has finalised investigations into alleged video posted by one of our cabin crew and I can confirm that the person in question no longer works for BA effective today (Tuesday). We expect the utmost professionalism from our staff when they are representing British Airways. We will not tolerate offensive comments about our customers anywhere in the world, and will always take the appropriate action.”