It can be very frustrating to arrive at the airport only to find that your flight is leaving without you.

But that didn't stop an Italian couple, Matteo Clementi, 26, and Enrica Apollonio, 23, who got stuck in traffic on their way to Luqa airport on 18 June . They simply dashed on to the taxiway in a bid to stop the aircraft leaving for home without them.

The Times of Malta reported that the couple forced open the door of another gate and ran to the apron. They began to signal to the pilots to let them on the plane even though the engines were running and the stairs had been removed.

They were arrested and were fined €2,329 (£1,660), after the judge turned down a request for a suspended sentence.

Defence lawyer Roberto Montalto noted that it was Apollonio's 23rd birthday, and that she had been looking forward to celebrate it with her family "but instead spent it in a cell".

A spokesperson for Malta International Airport told MailOnline Travel: "MIA regrets that a holiday to Malta had to end in this way but reminds passengers that safety and security are of the utmost importance at any airport and such issues cannot be dealt with lightly."