Lift-off with helping hands

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The Independent Online
Passengers on a British Airways flight stranded at Rome airport by a strike helped themselves get airborne yesterday. The DIY start-up for the Boeing 737-400, BA 561, came when passengers faced another four or five hours on the ground because striking ground staff refused to tow the aircraft away from the terminal.

Initially, 15 of the staff put their shoulders behind the wheels to push the plane 40 yards to the runway, but they couldn't move it until the passengers had disembarked - and 15 of them helped push. Meanwhile, airport workers held a one-day strike to press for new contracts, bringing chaos to Italy's airports. Alitalia cancelled around 150 flights.