Couple break through security to flag down Ryanair plane like a taxi

GATE CRASHERS: Matteo Clementi (26) and his girlfriend Enrica Apollonio (23)
GATE CRASHERS: Matteo Clementi (26) and his girlfriend Enrica Apollonio (23)

We’ve all been in this situation: you’re panicking in traffic while making your way to the airport only to JUST make it on to the plane before the gate closes – or not, as the case may be.

In the case of one Italian couple trying to get home from Malta, that wasn’t the end of it – they simply broke through the security gate elsewhere and ran on to the apron of the runway and tried to flag down their Ryanair plane as you would a taxi in Temple Bar.

Matteo Clementi (26) and his girlfriend Enrica Apollonio (23) were refused entry to the gate after they were late due to traffic problems in the Maltese capital Valletta.

They say they spent over two hours getting to the airport from their hotel.

Undeterred, they calmly walked to the next gate, which was unmanned, broke through the security doors, dashed out on to the runway and waved at the pilot of the plane – which had its engines running, had the stairs removed and was about to take off – indicating that he should let them on.

The pilot was unamused and they were soon tackled by security staff.

They appeared in court yesterday and faced a jail term of up to two years for their ill-advised adventure, but were let off with a fine of just over €2,000.

The reason they were in such a hurry was Ms Apollonio was determined to get home to Italy to celebrate her birthday.

Instead, she spent the night in a prison cell.