Thousands of British Airways passengers are stranded today after a computer system crash has left planes grounded for up to 23 hours.

Flights across the Atlantic from the US, Canada and Mexico have been worst-hit, with the Heathrow arrivals board showing almost all inbound planes delayed by several hours.

This is the fourth major system failure to have hit the embattled airline this year following two in July and one in August.

Flights from locations around the world, including Los Angeles and Beijing are affected, while passengers at New York, Cancun in Mexico and Chicago are complaining they have been stuck on the ground and receiving no information.

Some 97 flights to and from Heathrow were more than 45 minutes late, and two were cancelled.

Fuming British Airways passengers stranded today after a computer system crash left planes grounded for up to 23 hours

By 9am, some 45 flights due to land at Heathrow on Thursday were delayed by more than 45 minutes. By 4pm, the average flight delay at the airport was 20 minutes.

Customers today said the captain of their flight came to speak to them at the gate in Las Vegas, while others claim pilots are "unable to file their flight plans".

It is not clear what has caused the IT glitch, only that planes have been left without flight plans.

This is the fourth major system failure to have hit the embattled airline this year following two in July and one in August

Two British Airways flights coming into Gatwick have been delayed by almost 24 hours.

One was due to arrive from Cancun, Mexico – a nine-hour flight – at 8.45am today, but it has been grounded and will instead get in at 6.07am tomorrow.

And a plane from Kingston in Jamaica was scheduled to touch down at Gatwick at 9.25am today, but is now expected to arrive at 7.18am tomorrow.

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Stephanie Donovan's flight from the US city of Orlando to Gatwick on Wednesday night was delayed by four hours after the pilot told passengers he was unable to access his flight plan due to the system failure.

She said "nothing seemed to be communicated very well" and claimed British Airways "tried to keep it quiet regarding refreshment vouchers which people were entitled to".

Flights from locations around the world are affected, while passengers are complaining they have been stuck on the ground and receiving no information
Two British Airways flights coming into Gatwick have been delayed by almost 24 hours

She added: "Most people we spoke to were flying with BA for the first time and we have all said we wouldn't fly with them again."

Ross Midlane was due to fly from Gatwick to Orlando but woke up on Thursday morning to learn his flight was cancelled.

He said "the information was poor" and there was "no explanation" about why the aircraft was grounded.

British Airways initially switched him to a flight from Heathrow, but as he was preparing to catch a bus to the west London airport he was re-booked onto a Virgin Atlantic flight from Gatwick.

"The guy on customer service was excellent and really fast and helpful," he said. "Just glad to have a seat."

The most delayed Heathrow arrivals were from Pittsburgh, USA and Beijing, China. Both were more than 12 hours behind schedule.

One passenger, due to fly to London from Los Angeles, said: “The woman I just spoke to said the flight-plan generator had crashed, it seemingly means pilots cannot get journey details and are left stranded.

The most delayed Heathrow arrivals were from Pittsburgh, USA and Beijing, China. Both were more than 12 hours behind schedule

“We should have taken off hours ago and there's no sign of us leaving. People are saying they have missed their connections already. It's chaos.”

A spokeswoman for British Airways said: "Our teams are working hard to resolve a technical issue which is affecting some of our flights, and we have rebooked customers on to alternative flights and offered hotel accommodation where they have been unable to continue their journeys last night.

"We are very sorry for the disruption to their travel plans.

"We plan to operate a full flight schedule today."

Customers were urged to check ba.com for latest flight information.

The airline has suffered a series of systems failures in recent months.

In August, an IT glitch caused the cancellation of more than 100 flights and disrupted the travel plans of 10s of thousands of passengers.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, said: "This is the latest in a long line of British Airways technical glitches causing delays and cancellations and yet again it's thousands of passengers who are paying the price - left tired, frustrated and with a lack of information and assistance from the airline.

"BA must do the right thing and reroute passengers as quickly as possible, using other airlines where necessary, as well as informing customers facing disruption about their entitlement to compensation."