Police help passengers stuck in plane on Prestwick tarmac as Ryanair refuses to offer refreshments or let anyone leave.
Police in Scotland had to buy emergency supplies of chocolate and water for a planeload of Ryanair passengers who were close to mutiny after spending four hours on the tarmac without any food and drink.
Strathclyde police were called to the Ryanair flight at Prestwick airport in Ayrshire yesterday after the plane was held on the runway due to delays caused by an air traffic controllers strike in France.
The flight, to Girona in Spain, had been due to leave at 2pm but by 6pm the flight's besieged crew called the police.
The 168 passengers, many with children, became increasingly angry after the crew refused to open the refreshment trolleys, saying they were forbidden from doing so until the flight was in the air. Others wanted to get off the plane.
Officers decided to buy Mars bars, Double Deckers and water at the force's expense and brought the supplies on board. The flight eventually left shortly before 8pm.
A Strathclyde police spokeswoman said: "Officers attended at 6pm to assess the situation and assist cabin crew. Officers subsequently purchased water and chocolate for every passenger on board and took it to them.
"Some of the passengers were slightly fraught after a delay in their flight departing. [Police] remained at the airport until after the plane had left."
Ryanair said it was unable to allow the passengers to disembark.
"Ryanair asked passengers to remain on board while awaiting take-off authorisation, to minimise passenger inconvenience and avoid a further delay or likely flight cancellation," a spokesman said.
"Ryanair sincerely apologise to all affected passengers for this delay caused by French air traffic control strike action.
"While the aircraft was on the ground passengers on board were allowed to use mobile phones and toilet facilities, and as per legal restrictions, the bars on board remained closed."
Sarah Toom, one of the affected passengers, told BBC Scotland: "It was quite hectic in the aircraft earlier – a lot of parents with young kids were getting quite upset and raising their voices because we weren't allowed off the aircraft to buy food and drink.
"None was being brought on board and none was being offered by Ryanair staff, whom, I have to say, were doing their best."
She said a loud cheer went up when the police brought supplies.
Source: The Guardian