The passengers, who had arrived from Lisbon, Portugal, on a flight that landed at 9.20am, created confusion that resulted in them having to be processed by departures security before being transferred to arrivals. The unexpected influx interfered with the departures process, causing long delays for passengers arriving at the airport to board flights.
According to a BBC report, the incident is being investigated by the airport authorities.
Despite having drafted in extra staff to deal with the incident, Stansted said that passengers faced ‘long security queues’ and delays of up to an hour on some flights.
Ryanair absolved itself from blame, claiming that its crew had disembarked passengers ‘to the assigned gate.’ A Ryanair spokesman said, ‘The crew of this flight correctly directed disembarking customers to the assigned gate. However, customers entered the airport through a door which had been left open in error.’
‘Ryanair fully cooperated with Stansted airport as it rescreened departing passengers. A number of flights were delayed throughout the day due to earlier issues with de-icing facilities.’
Despite the airport’s assertion that most delays caused by the incident were of little more than an hour, Twitter messages from disgruntled passengers affected by the departure delays suggested that many had been kept waiting for two hours or more before the airport’s staff were able to regain control of the situation.