Holidaymakers on a delayed flight were left ‘gasping for air’ after getting stuck waiting on a plane for hours during the heatwave.
Passengers waited patiently on an aircraft as it prepared to take off as temperatures soared at East Midlands Airport.
The Ryanair flight was expected to leave for Budapest at 1.55pm on Monday, but travellers were left facing a string of delays with little air on board.
StaffordshireLive reports they found themselves ‘gasping for air’ as they struggled to get out of the aircraft doors.
The flight did not take off until 5.30pm, almost four hours after its scheduled take-off time, as temperature soared to a sweltering 35.2C.
Monday was the hottest day on record in the Midlands, before the record was broken again yesterday.
Will Crossley, who was among the passengers on board, said they started to worry when flight attendants shuffled away ahead of pre-flight safety messages with no explanation.
He added the crew then announced they were waiting for the captain to arrive and should not be long
The 31-year-old said: “We were reassured this would be a very short delay.
“However, the promise of moving in 15 minutes, would then change to 30 minutes, then 45 minutes and so on.”
He said when the captain finally arrived he was met with cheers and applause, but passengers faced a further wait.
A Castle Donington airport spokesman said this was because the flight missed its departure slot, but Ryanair says the delay was caused by air traffic control issues “beyond [their] control”.
Mr Crossley added: “This is when they opened the doors again, as the temperature was really rising in the cabin and people were gasping to get a bit of fresh air.
“We were asking for water but they said they didn’t have any onboard so everybody was forced to purchase other soft drinks to just stay hydrated.”
“There were arguments between passengers trying to get to the doors.
“Passengers were arguing with flight attendants and just general outrage and upset from everybody onboard.
“We finally land at our destination at 7.45pm (GMT) but should have been there at 4.20pm,” he said.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “This flight from East Midlands to Budapest (18 July) was delayed ahead of take-off due to Air Traffic Control delays, which are completely beyond Ryanair’s control.
“Crew opened the bars for passengers one hour after boarding (by 3pm), where meals and refreshments – including water – were served.
“This flight departed at 5:15pm. Ryanair sincerely apologises to passengers for this delay.”
A spokesperson for East Midlands Airport said: “The welfare of passengers and colleagues is a key priority during this current heatwave.
“We have put in place measures to protect everyone on site, especially those working outdoors, and to make it as comfortable as possible for passengers.
“Our advice to passengers who are using this airport in the coming days is to prepare by keeping well-hydrated.
“Water bottles can be re-filled at water fountains or in any of the terminal food and drink outlets. We have not experienced any disruption due to the current weather conditions.”