– Mutiny at the airport: Passengers stranded without food and drink in 11-hour delay call police onto plane (Daily Mail, Feb 21, 2014):
- Passengers called police after being sat on the plane for three hours
- Ryanair said they couldn’t let them into the terminal because it was locked
- The airline said the captain also called police for assistance getting the passengers back into the building
- They were finally allowed off at 3.45am – but had to board the flight again two hours later when they faced another two hour delay
- Ryanair flight from Stansted to Porto was supposed to take off at 8.30pm
- However, it eventually took off at around 8am the following morning
- Incident happened after loudmouth businessman Michael O’Leary pledged to clean up the airline’s act and ‘stop p****** people off unnecessarily’
Furious passengers stranded on a Ryanair flight called police from the tarmac after being left for hours without food or drink.
More than 100 travellers, including children, had already faced a long wait to board the delayed flight from Stansted to Porto in Portugal. Three hours later, the plane was still on the ground.
Tired and hungry, they asked flight attendants for food and water but were refused.
Frustration soon turned to anger, with mutinous passengers confronting cabin crew and many phoning police. One passenger claimed up to 50 calls were made.
Officers finally boarded the plane and passengers were allowed to get off and wait in the airport terminal. By this time, they had spent more than three hours on the jet without refreshments.
The plane finally took off after a mammoth 11-hour delay.
The drama comes weeks after Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary pledged to treat passengers better and ‘stop p****** people off unnecessarily’.
Flight FR8347 had been due to take off at 8.25pm last Friday but when the passengers checked in for the two-hour 20 minute flight, they were told there were delays because of adverse weather.
They waited nearly four hours before they boarded the plane just after midnight.
That was when their real ordeal began. Passenger João Pinheiro posted a video diary of the scenes on You Tube, which has since received nearly 500,000 views.
In the video, passengers can be seen begging the cabin crew for assistance. ‘There is nothing to eat or drink,’ one man shouts to a male steward. ‘You are ignoring your passengers who are asking for help. Aren’t you flight attendants? Is everybody crazy?’
A woman passenger says: ‘You won’t let us eat or drink even if we pay? We can’t leave the aircraft either?’ Another pleads: ‘There is a baby on board.’ The video claims the passengers asked for food, water and for the air conditioning to be turned on at 1am, but that this was refused.
A police car with flashing lights can be seen outside the aircraft before an officer boards and tells passengers they will be allowed to leave the plane.
After the video emerged, Ryanair issued an apology but claimed that passengers had been given water on the plane and said the captain had also called the police for assistance.
Last night a Ryanair spokesman said strong winds forced more than 20 airlines to divert into Stansted from from Heathrow and Gatwick on February 14, disrupting handling and fuelling operations at the airport. ‘After approximately two hours waiting for fuellers, the captain requested the handling company (Swissport) to allow the passengers into the terminal which was locked,’ the spokesman said.
‘The captain switched on the aircraft’s air conditioning while waiting for Swissport staff to arrive and the cabin crew provided water to passengers. When Swissport failed to arrive the captain requested the police to let the passengers into the locked terminal.’
The spokesman said passengers were then given refreshment vouchers.
Last night a spokesman for Swissport said: ‘Swissport staff were under extreme pressure dealing with an unprecedented level of flights and whilst we accept we should have unloaded the passengers sooner we simply had no one available to unload when contacted by the captain. Swissport regret any delay to passengers and to Ryanair.’