More than 50,000 people enjoyed the spectacular show in beautiful weather, watching displays by the Red Arrows and iconic aircraft such as the Vulcan and Lancaster bombers.
But many who had paid £25 a time for tickets were caught in queues that at one point stretched all the way from Cosford back to Wolverhampton city centre.
Organisers said they were surprised by the numbers and said there were more cars parked at the site than ever before.
They told ticket holders who could not get in to contact them to ask for a refund.
Some people who set off at 9am didn't arrive until mid-afternoon for the show – and some gave up and went home.
Cosford Air Show 2013 - Your pictures
Traffic chaos as thousands flock to Cosford Air Show
Andrew Stapleton, from Wellington, set off at 9am for an 11-mile journey that would normally take 20 minutes and didn't arrive until after midday.
He said: "I came off junction three of the M54 as advised and then was diverted right up the A41 towards Newport before joining the most mind-numbing queue of my life.
"It took two-and-a-half hours just to get back to the roundabout before the crawl towards Cosford."
Organisers issued a warning at the height of the chaos that anyone without a ticket would not get in with a car.
But despite warnings, they said they had not actually turned anybody away.
Show chairman Wing Commander Mike Wilson said extra parking was made available and changes were made to diversions, adding: "We're sorry some people were delayed. We work closely with the police and highways to minimise those delays."
RAF Cosford spokeswoman Amanda Butcher said today: "People seeking a refund are welcome to contact us and we will look at each individual case."