Dozens of flights were grounded after Heathrow Airport had technical problems with runway lighting, the bosses confirmed.
The passengers sat on the runway after the apparent failure in early morning London at several airports in the United States and Canada.
BA-Flight 116 managed to reach the runway at JFK in New York before the crew was asked to return to the gate with the passengers on board the aircraft.
Passenger Denise Martin, who ran the marathon in New York on Sunday, told Sun Online, "People are tired and dumpy.
"I think the general mood is that we'd rather be off the plane than on board indefinitely."
She added that the crew had offered a refreshment service to make the passengers happy.
Commenting on the marathon efforts, Denise said, "The crowd of fans made the day, they were incredible, I really wish I had paid for extra leg room now."
Others have said they have been accompanied by their flights and are waiting for further updates at the airport.
BA passenger Charlie told the Sun Online, "We sat on the plane for an hour and were just escorted by it, and now I'm sitting at the gate, waiting for information they do not provide."
Flights that are already in the air are apparently not affected according to flight data.
A Heathrow spokesman said, "Our engineering teams are investigating a technical problem with the airport's runway lighting system.
"We are working to solve the problem as quickly as possible, but at this point we expect the airport to be disruptive all morning.
"For the most up-to-date information, passengers should check their flight status with their airlines before driving to the airport.
"We apologize for the impact on our passengers."
A spokeswoman for British Airways said, "We have a problem with the airfield at Heathrow Airport.
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"We are delaying flights that have not flown yet at this time, diverting some of the flights that are in the air and will arrive at Heathrow soon.
"We will update our customers as soon as we have more information from Heathrow.
"We ask customers who are traveling with us today to continue to check ba.com for updates."
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