Strathclyde Police feed delayed Ryanair passengers

Image caption,
Ryanair flies routinely to Girona from Prestwick Airport

Police had to calm down air passengers stuck on the runway of Prestwick Airport by buying them water and chocolate.

The 168 people on board the Ryanair flight bound for Girona, Spain, became agitated after a six-hour wait.

Some of the passengers said they were told they could not have food or water and others wanted to get off.

Ryanair called Strathclyde Police officers who calmed the situation. They made no arrests.

The flight took off for Spain at 1949 BST.

A spokesman for Ryanair said the aircraft had been due to fly to Girona at 1400 BST, but was delayed because of the French air traffic controllers' strike.

The spokesman added: "Ryanair asked passengers to remain on board while awaiting take-off authorisation, to minimise passenger inconvenience and avoid a further delay.

"Ryanair sincerely apologise to all affected passengers for this delay caused by French ATC strike action."

Ryanair said that while the aircraft was on the ground passengers were allowed to use mobile phones and toilet facilities, but it added that as "per legal restrictions the bars on board remained closed".

'Doing their best'

One passenger, Sarah Toom, 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 that four officers from Strathclyde Police came onto the plane and announced that they were looking to get passengers some water and food.

Ms Toom added: "Five minutes later they showed up with bottles of water for everyone which was met by a loud cheer."

A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman confirmed that they were called at 1800 BST by Ryanair staff who were concerned about the situation on board the plane.

She said officers spoke to passengers and then bought them basic refreshments including chocolate and water.

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