The airport handling company Swissport has said it regrets any delay to passengers after they claimed to be stuck on a plane "without food or water" during an 11 hour delay at Stansted Airport.
Footage emerged on YouTube of agitated passengers on the Stansted to Porto flight on Valentine's Day. Swissport released this statement:
The weather on Feb 14th has been recognized as one of the worst to hit the UK for decades with high winds causing travel chaos across the country...
The flight was loaded, but fueling was not available. This caused the delay. 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. However, in extreme circumstances, our staff worked tirelessly to ensure that diverted flights were dealt with as soon as possible. We are disappointed that even under these extreme conditions we fell short of our usual high standards.
Ryanair has defended itself after passengers claimed they called the police following an 11 hour delay at Stansted Airport.Read the full story ›
The Government has been accused of a U-turn on Heathrow expansion today, after the Transport Secretary said he would not rule out a third Runway at the airport.
His comments come ahead of a report published this week on options to address London's airport capacity crisis.
ITV London's Robyn Dwyer has the full story:
The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has spoken of the "obsession" around building more runways at Heathrow Airport, adding that Government will listen to a panel of experts before making any decisions in 18 months time on the future of UK air capacity.
What we said at the last general election was that we would not build a third runway in this Parliament.
We will not be building a third runway in this Parliament. We will stick by our manifesto commitment.
But it is right for the long-term future of the United Kingdom, we have a panel of experts who will widely be regarded as doing a proper and comprehensive job, and I want to see what their interim report is this week and their final report in 18 months' time and then we'll be able to say which is the right way to go forward.
Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show if the right way forward would be Heathrow expansion, Mr McLoughlin said: "You seem more obsessed about Heathrow than I am."
After being told "everyone is obsessed about it", Mr McLoughlin replied: "Indeed they are, but let's wait and see what the commission say in the longer term."
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has refused to rule out Heathrow airport expansion after 2015 and insisted David Cameron would not be betraying voters if a third runway is built in west London after the next election.
Mr McLoughlin appeared to suggest people are "obsessing" over Heathrow with the Government-appointed Airports Commission due to publish an interim report containing a short-list of options for extra runways at UK airports this week.
There has been speculation that the commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, will include options for a third or even a fourth runway at the west London airport, to the dismay of London Mayor Boris Johnson and prominent Tory backbencher Zac Goldsmith.
Whitehall sources have suggested that an interim report by the Davies Airport Commission could select three or four choices from the 58 options its has been presented with - all are London airports
Sources close to the Commission, as cited by the Independent on Sunday, suggest a third runway at Heathrow will be included, with two options north and south of the airport's current runways. Either could be expanded and could transform Heathrow into a four-runway airport.
Plans for second runways at Gatwick and Stansted are also expected to be taken on, while the newspaper says leaks from Whitehall suggest the London Mayor's Boris Island proposal for a new airport hub in the Thames estuary may be dead in the water.
A short-list of options for extra runways at UK airports is set to be included in the first report of the Government-appointed Airports Commission this week.
And for the short term the commission will also propose changes such as making more use of existing runways until the long-term expansion plans can be fulfilled.
There has been much speculation that the commission, chaired by former Financial Services Authority chief Sir Howard Davies, will include in its options a third runway, or possibly even a fourth, at Heathrow in west London.
London Mayor Boris Johnson, who favours a brand new Thames Estuary airport dubbed "Boris Island", said last week that Heathrow expansion was "environmentally disastrous" and "bad for London and the country".
The MP for Richmond Park & North Kingston seat Zac Goldsmith - a leading opponent of Heathrow expansion - said that a commission led by Sir Howard Davies into Heathrow expansion was not the "arms-length" review promised by ministers.
He claimed that Chancellor George Osborne had been instrumental in making sure that other options apart from Heathrow would be contained in the report to be published on Tuesday.
But he said this was only to "cynically" provide political cover to avoid making a final decision until after the next election in 2015.
A Heathrow expansion U-turn by David Cameron would be an "off-the-scale betrayal" a Tory MP has said.
Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park & North Kingston, whose seat would be affected by a third runway, said the move would make voters question whether the Prime Minister could be trusted, and would be "catastrophic' for Mr Cameron's reputation.
Government-appointed Airports Commission is due to outline its initial thoughts in a report next week. Mr Goldsmith has questioned its independence and suggested that accepting its findings would, in effect, be supporting the expansion of Heathrow.
A strike by workers at Stansted airport in a dispute over pay and conditions may be averted.
Members of the GMB union employed by Swissport have voted in favour of industrial action over this year's wage claim. But, the union says extra time has been given for new talks.