Many of us have had the misfortune to arrive at the departure gate just as it closed. When it happens you look sadly at the airplane as it's pushed away and just think "Why?" But one couple decided they still had time and ran to the runway to flag the Ryanair plane down!

Matteo Clementi (26) and his girlfriend Enrica Apollonio (23) were delayed by traffic on their way to Valletta Airport in Malta and arrived at their gate too late to board.

Undeterred, they rushed to an adjacent gate, which was unmanned, broke through the security doors, and headed out onto the runway.

Once outside they waved and gesticulated at the pilot of the plane, indicating that they wanted to board.

But he remained totally unmoved by their plight; as, apart from any other issues, the Boeing 737’s engines had already been fired up and the steps removed.

Instead he alerted security forces.

Consequently the couple spent the night in a cell and the next day found themselves in court.

They could have faced two years in jail for jeopardizing the safety of the airport, but were let off with a €2,000 fine.