Ryanair Afrikaans

Ryanair Boeing UK 737-8AS as it prepares to land.
Photo: AFP

Ryanair drops controversial Afrikaans quiz

Ryanair has dropped its controversial Afrikaans quiz which was imposed on SA passport holders saying it doesn’t make any sense.

Ryanair Afrikaans

Ryanair Boeing UK 737-8AS as it prepares to land.
Photo: AFP

Budget airline Ryanair has dropped its controversial Afrikaans quiz that South African passport holders were forced to answer before they could board their flights to or from London in the United Kingdom (UK). 

The airline faced a lot of backlash and criticism over the test which it said is an “additional safety assessment “. A number of South African passport holders were up in arms following this and some took to social media to express their frustration.


Rynair’s Afrikaans quiz triggered accusations of racial discrimination, as Afrikaans is only the third most-spoken language in the country and was often forced on black South Africans during the apartheid era. 

Ryanair said it had a responsibility to ensure that passengers are correctly documented for travel to their destination in terms of UK laws. 

The low-cost airline said due to the recent increase in passengers attempting to travel on fraudulent South African passports, their handling agents may request passengers travelling on a South African passport, and who are flagged during procedural security profiling, to complete a simple questionnaire, as an additional safety assessment to confirm whether they are correctly documented before travel. 

Ryanair Afrikaans
The fallout from Irish airline Ryanair’s decision to test SA passport holders’ general knowledge in Afrikaans continued over the weekend. Photo: AFP

Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary has since changed his tune and said they have changed their policy

O’Leary said people had no difficulty completing the quiz however they didn’t think it was appropriate either. 

“So we have ended the Afrikaans test, because it doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

The quiz comprised of questions about South Africa’s international dialling code, the


According to the Daily Mail, Baroness Chakrabarti, former director of Liberty and former Labour Shadow Attorney General said using Afrikaans to verify citizenship is as ignorant as it is insulting and discriminatory.

She reportedly asked the Government to ‘explore all potential regulatory options to persuade Ryanair to the cause of common sense and decency.’

Transport minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton also said it was not UK policy to demand a language test and agreed that Ryanair’s actions were ‘morally dubious and surely not appropriate’.

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