The disruption to the fuel pipeline between Ellesmere Port and Manchester Airport has led to massive delays at the terminal, but there has been an unexpected knock on effect as the M56 has clogged up with aircraft heading for a nearby service station.
"It was a bloody nightmare," said Jerry McCann, a commuter who has used the M56 five days a week since it opened. "I was stuck behind this bloody 747 trundling along like it owned the road."
The service station at the airport itself also quickly ran dry of fuel after a 777 filled it's tanks before jetting off to Australia, forcing pilots to look for alternatives.
"You can imagine the look on my face when this Cessna pulled into my forecourt," said Dee Zell, owner of a petrol station in Knutsford. "He had a right job manoeuvring the wings around the pipework for the pumps, I can tell you."
As the roads around the airport have clogged up with planes, ordinary commuters have been through hell, with traffic backing up to the M60 after a rear-end shunt between an Airbus and a Boeing.
"That's going to be interesting on the insurance form," said McCann. "Why they just couldn't sit around in the airport and wait for the fuel line to be restored I don't know. They've added eight hours to my journey. I've not seen the like since that bloody abortive petrol panic buy last month."