Up to 800 passengers have been stranded at Gatwick Airport for five days after an airline cancelled its flights.
Many of the travellers, who were due to travel to Lagos with Nigerian airline Med-View, have been sleeping on the floor since Friday, and may not get a flight until the new year.
Med-View blamed technical problems which are said to have put one of its three planes out of action.
The airline also claimed it arranged for three planes to evacuate at least 700 people on Wednesday but one of these had to be cancelled after passengers became unruly.
But furious customers, some of whom paid more than £1,000 for a ticket, accused the company of ‘abandoning’ them.
Ola Dami, 26, from Coventry, said he missed Christmas with his family in Lagos because of the chaos.
She told The Sun: ‘I feel abandoned and disrespected. I’ve been told there will be no flights until next year.’
Police were called to the South Terminal to maintain control amid angry scenes.
One Twitter user, ‘Georgina’, filmed a confrontation between a customer and a member of staff.
‘If you listen well, you will hear a customer say “don’t tell me not to shout or I will shout,’ she wrote.
Another witness saw a woman appealing to a member of staff to help her mother get home for Christmas after she was discharged from hospital in the UK.
One passenger feared she was going to miss her sister’s wedding because of flight cancellations.
She wrote on Twitter: ‘Why can’t you f***ing provide an alternative for people, it’s been 4 days now and we all just here with no refunds no words from you, no assurance nothing!!!!
‘I’m supposed to be my sister’s maid of honour and these people are ruining everything.’
Gatwick Airport said: ‘Due to a lack of available aircraft, a significant number of Med-view passengers have not flown out as expected and are currently still at the airport. Gatwick would like to apologise on the airline’s behalf.
‘Airport staff are also assisting these passengers where possible and will continue to work with the airline and other authorities to ensure that Medview honours its commitments to their passengers.
Passengers have also been left stranded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
In a statement, posted on December 24, the airline said: ‘We sincerely apologize for all the recent flight disruptions.
‘We are currently doing everything possible to get back on schedule.’