A Chinese couple desperate not to miss their flight reportedly forced their way on to the tarmac to delay their aircraft.

Angry at being turned away from the closed departure gate, they pushed past airline staff, ran down the gangway and external stairs to reach the runway, caught up with the Air China aircraft and stood beside its wheels, under the fuselage, demanding the right to board.

The unnamed pair, hoping to catch the flight from Beijing to Shanghai, were sentenced to five days’ administrative detention by airport police, and face a £50 fine.

“When two police officers tried to approach the woman she got really emotional and started crying and waving her arms,” one witness told the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper.

The aircraft left 20 minutes late after her male partner helped police to drag her into a vehicle.

Long and unexplained delays fuel rising anger in a nation where the military controls most of the airspace and often forces civilian flights to wait, according to The Times.

Five passengers were taken off a Beijing flight in June after brawling during a long delay on the tarmac. A check-in clerk in southern Shenzhen was left lying in a pool of blood after a passenger attacked her with a metal plaque, and two passengers in northern Shanxi took over business class seats, punched a cabin crew member and another passenger, then tried to charge the cockpit.

Embarrassed at the poor image of Chinese travellers abroad, notably in Thailand and Japan, authorities in China have issued etiquette guidebooks and sent text messages exhorting good behaviour when abroad.

China has also started blacklisting badly behaved tourists to prevent them travelling abroad. Two added last year were a woman who threw steaming hot noodles on to an Air Asia stewardess, and her boyfriend, who then threatened to blow up the Bangkok to Nanjing flight in December 2014.

Expected revisions to the civil aviation law will raise fines to £5,000 to curb the rising trend of bad behaviour, scuffles and violent attacks by impatient air passengers.