A Europe-wide failure computer system failure affected thousands of easyJet passengers as flights were delayed and cancelled yesterday.

Queues at the airline’s main bases built up as ground staff struggled to check in passengers’ bags manually.

Delays at Gatwick – the airline’s busiest airport – were running at around two hours by 5.30pm yesterday, the Independent reported.

At least 14 flights were cancelled as the airline tried to deal with the backlog.

Passengers at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Luton and Manchester faced lengthy delays as they queued to check in. It is not known how many flights were disrupted in total.

Many people were left stranded after missing flights or having them cancelled. They were urged to book into nearby hotels or face a night at airports.

EasyJet said passengers were not able to check in online for about seven hours after the airline’s central booking system crashed.

Delays stemmed from the length of time it took front-desk staff to manually check in passengers.

The system was functioning again last night, but many passengers continued to face problems.

An easyJet spokesman told The Scotsman: “We can confirm that the check-in systems are now working on the website and at airports although there may be still be delays on easyJet flights.”

He added: “Passengers booked on cancelled flights are eligible for compensation. We contacted the affected passengers to advise them that they could either re-book or claim a refund.

“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank passengers for their patience.”

Aircraft stands at several airports were blocked by flights that were stuck on the ground awaiting passengers to board. Arriving aircraft were prevented from reaching their allocated stands.

EasyJet Tweeted this morning: “Website fully back in operation, many thanks for everyone’s patience.”