Ryanair has defended itself after passengers claimed they called the police after being 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. Several hours later, police are seen entering the aircraft and explaining to passengers they are not able to leave the airport.
Warning: Footage contains language some viewers may find offensive:
A video diary of what happened was recorded by Portuguese passenger Joao Pinheiro who put the footage up on YouTube.
The flight on Valentine's Day was originally due to take off at 8.25pm - but eventually departed almost 12 hours later after delays due to "adverse weather".
In the footage, passengers were reportedly first told to board at around 12.15am.
In a statement, Ryanair said that the flight was delayed due to "strong winds", disrupting handling and fuelling operations at Stansted. They added that it was the Captain's decision to call the police:
Due to strong winds across the South of England (14 Feb) over 20 airlines were forced to divert into Stansted from Heathrow and Gatwick airports which significantly disrupted handling and fuelling operations at Stansted. This Ryanair flight from London Stansted to Porto was delayed by the weather disruption and a subsequent fuelling delay 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 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 police subsequently arrived and allowed the passengers into the terminal. Passengers were then provided with refreshment vouchers on Ryanair’s instructions. The aircraft departed the following morning at 7.50am. Ryanair sincerely apologises to all passengers on this flight who were affected by this delay.
Essex Police confirmed that they had initially been contacted by airport channels at the Captain's request, but subsequently by passengers on board the plane.
They added that no further action was required.