Europe’s most famous low-cost airline, Ryanair, had been accused of racism and discrimination for requiring a ‘nationality test’ with linguistic proof in order to allow some boarding on its flights. However, the measure dropped this week.
As AEROIN reported a few days ago, the airline Ryanair had been demanding a general knowledge test for passengers from South Africa. Thus, only the South African passport was not enough for some travelers, who needed to take an Afrikaans language test, even if they resided in a European country.
The policy has caused outrage in South Africa, where many blacks associate Afrikaans with the days of white minority rule. The country has 11 official languages and Ryanair never explained why it chose Afrikaans for the questionnaire, which contained questions such as what is South Africa’s international dialing code, what is its capital and who is the country’s current president.
After much controversy, the company finally decided to ban the practice. The announcement resonated in the international media, with the company’s CEO saying he does not agree with a mandatory test, although he is concerned about the issue of false passports.
The cases of false passports have been investigated by the South African government itself, but no airline has barred passengers because of it, with the exception of Ryanair. In fact, many question why the company did this, since a false passport does not mean that the person was not born in South Africa or a neighboring country. And people who have valid American or European visas have been barred, even though it is a totally legal document.
Below is an example of the test that was being applied.