The truth behind 'disgusting' photo of airline staff 'sleeping on floor'

Ryanair has released CCTV footage showing how the viral ‘sleeping’ cabin crew photo was staged – but the so-called revelation is appearing to have backfired for the airline.

The carrier publicly shamed its employees after the photograph was shared to Twitter, showing six crew members lying down on the floor of an office space at Spain’s Malaga Airport on Sunday morning after being left stranded by a storm.

The photograph of cabin crew who claimed they were left to sleep overnight on the floor of a small room was taken in protest. Source: Jim Atkinson / Twitter

Eight stranded pilots and 16 flight attendants claim they were given no other option but to sleep on the floor of the small room, with only eight chairs, from 1am to 6am, without access to food or water.

After the photograph caused outrage among people who viewed the lodging conditions as “disgusting”, Ryanair released its own footage from inside the room, revealing the moments before the picture was taken.

The airline tweeted the video on Thursday, with the caption: “Ryanair exposes fake photo of cabin crew sleeping in crew room”.

The footage taken from inside the office space shows the staff members walking to the corner of the room and then laying huddled together on the floor to pose for the picture. After the photo has been taken, they get up off the floor and walk to the chairs, which Ryanair claims proves the picture was “fake”.

However the bizarre move appears to have backfired on the carrier, as many were quick to point out the photo was obviously intended as a staged protest, due to the conditions they were faced with.

Jim Atkinson, the man who tweeted the original picture which has been retweeted by almost 2,000 people, shut down Ryanair’s defence, responding to the company’s tweet.

“Everyone already knew it was a protest picture you knuckleheads. The fact remains: You stranded four crews in an airport terminal for the night and made no discernible attempt to find them proper lodging or even food and water,” he wrote.