Model and actress Liz Hurley is among thousands of British Airways passengers booked to fly home for Christmas who were left grounded by a wave of flight cancellations.

The airline said its operations were hit by a technical issue which has since been resolved.

Hurley, who lives near Ledbury, saw her flight from the Caribbean island of Antigua severely delayed.

In a message to British Airways’ Twitter account at 7.47am GMT, she wrote: “Stranded at Antigua airport with no food or water, taxis or hotels offered yet. Plane delayed 20 hours.

An hour later, she added: “Still stranded – no food, water or hotel. Pretty dodgy service.”

At least nine long-haul British Airways flights to Heathrow – each due to carry hundreds of passengers – were cancelled across Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Several other flights suffered long delays, including one from the US city of Philadelphia which is expected to land more than five and a half hours behind schedule.

British Airways said in a statement: “Our teams have now resolved a temporary issue that affected some of our long-haul flight planning systems overnight, which resulted in delays to our schedule.

“We’re sorry for the disruption caused to our customers’ travel plans.”

British Airways said the problem related to a single piece of software, and was not a repeat of IT outages which have repeatedly hit its operations in recent years.

It said the issue did not have an impact on safety, did not affect aircraft already in the air and was limited to long-haul flights.

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