British Airways passengers in Venice were forced to sleep on the floor at Marco Polo Airport overnight because cabin crew had worked their maximum hours and the airline could not find them hotel rooms in the Italian city.
Metro reports that about 140 passengers went without food or drink at the airport as their Gatwick-bound flight left with only two pilots on board.
One passenger, from Hemel Hempstead, told BBC London radio that the airport was like a "ghost town" and that "they locked up the airport" and "we couldn't leave".
BA apologised and said passengers would be compensated.
The airline told the BBC: "Unfortunately, due to the volume of visitors to Venice we could not secure any rooms for our customers or cabin crew.
"The aircraft due to operate the flight to Gatwick was delayed into Venice because of a technical fault earlier in the day. Unfortunately this meant that the cabin crew responsible for the safety of our customers had exceeded their available working hours, and were unable to operate the flight back to London. The two pilots were still within their hours and returned the aircraft to London.
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