Holidaymakers were forced to abandon their cars on the M25 and walk to Heathrow Airport after a crash bought traffic to a complete standstill.
People also got out of their cars and had a picnic on the central reservation after a crash blocked the M25 at Junction 14/15, with queues stretching back to the M40 and A30 this afternoon.
Others offered stranded drivers drinks as they got out of their sweltering cars, while temperatures soared to 31c.
But people desperately trying to catch a flight from Heathrow jumped out of taxis or left their cars, scrambling to climb over fences with suitcases.
Instead or risking missing their flights, they decided to walk to the airport - a journey likely to take well over two hours.
But those making the journey on foot were criticised as "making more unnecessary work for police".
Twitter user Andrew Brady, who was stuck, tweeted: "It's a lovely day for a spot of sitting on the M25. Complete standstill."
Classic car owner Martin Feltham, who was stuck, allowed people to pose for photos with his striking gold Triumph as they waited for the traffic to clear.
People took to Twitter to vent their frustration, with one saying: "Many passengers stuck on the M25 close to an hour now behind a significant accident, no end in sight."
Highways England warned of "long delays", saying there were four miles of queues backing up to the ring road.
Both lanes of the motorway were closed to allow the air ambulance to land following the six car crash and queues stretched back to Junction 16.
Photos show a white van on its side and a white car with the back axl nearly ripped off.
Six cars were involved in a "bumper to bumper crash".
The air ambulance was called as a precaution but a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Everyone is going to be okay" and they were initially worried about one man's leg injury.
All lanes were reopened by 5.30pm.