Around 200 flights were delayed or cancelled at Birmingham International Airport after an emergency landing closed the runway for ten hours.
The TNT Boeing 737 cargo plane had been travelling from Liege Airport in Belgium to Stansted when it was diverted to Nottingham East Midlands Airport due to bad weather.
But the pilot was forced to make the emergency landing at BIA after the undercarriage of the plane was damaged.
The aircraft landed safely just after 6am, with the two crew uninjured, but the runway was closed after foam was sprayed as a precaution.
Although some smaller flights were allowed to take off during the afternoon, the runway was not opened fully until after 4pm.
Passengers were told to check-in as usual for departing flights, although some delays were expected.
John Morris, head of corporate affairs at BIA, said if the airport had an extended runway, flights may have resumed earlier.
"If we already had the runway extension we plan to have by 2012, I think it would have made a difference," he said, "It would have allowed the larger plans to take off earlier."
Mr Morris added that the airport's emergency plans had been put in place and he praised the actions of the emergency crews.
Stranded passengers included hundreds of England fans heading for Germany.
Supporters heading to the game in Nuremberg, some of whom had paid hundreds of pounds for flights and tickets for the match, were forced to watch England play Trinidad and Tobago in the UK after being told their flights had been cancelled, along with those of thousands of holiday makers.
Twenty-two flights were due to depart to Germany yesterday but most of the passengers were bused to other airports in the afternoon following the closure.
Peter Stubbins, aged 30, from Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, paid £180 for match tickets and £200 for flights to Nuremberg via Amsterdam along with 11 friends.
The insurance worker said: "We are all absolutely gutted. Not only are we not going to be there for the game but we have all lost a lot of money.
"We have been planning this for months and I can't believe this has happened now.
"We even tried to hire a jet with the £5,000 insurance money we'd get from the cancelled flight but it would have cost at least £9,000. It's a shambles really.
"We have got a flight booked from Gatwick to Amsterdam later and from there we are then splitting up - some heading to Munich, others to Nuremberg - and fingers crossed we will be there by
Friday evening to catch some of the other matches. We are now racing to London to watch the match on TV ready for the flight but knowing our luck we'll get stuck in traffic."
His friend Danny Gilmore, aged 29, said: "It's totally disorganised down here. We phoned the airline as we had been waiting for so long to be told what was happening and we were told to just stay in the queue."
TNT confirmed that aviation experts had flown in from Liege to assist air accident investigators. The Air Accident Investigation Board is investigating at Birmingham and East Midlands.