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British Airways IT system collapsed on weekend, 1000 flights cancelled

29.05.2017 at 11:08

Travel news

More than a third of British Airways flights from Heathrow were cancelled as thousands of passengers faced a second day of disruption. The airline was hit by a worldwide computer system power failure on Saturday, causing cancellations and delays for thousands of passengers. All long-haul services left from Heathrow, but with delays, BA said.

Queues at Heathrow Terminal 5

The airline has urged people to check the status of flights before travelling to the airport. The airline apologised to customers for the issue, which is thought to have been caused by a problem with the IT system’s power supply. In a statement released on Sunday, chief executive Alex Cruz said: “I know this has been a horrible time for customers. We’re not there yet, but we are doing our very best to sort things out for you.”

The airline is liable to reimburse thousands of passengers for refreshments and hotel costs. Customers displaced by flight cancellations can claim up to £200 a day for a room (based on two people sharing), £50 for transport between the hotel and airport, and £25 a day per adult for meals and refreshments. One traveller from Seattle said she had spent the evening sleeping on the floor of a hotel conference room. Ashley Tracey, who was trying to get to Mumbai for her friend’s wedding, said she had been queuing to rebook her flight for six hours.

On Sunday morning, Heathrow Terminal 5 descended into chaos again as people arrived to rebook flights after theirs were cancelled yesterday as well as new arrivals hoping they had not been affected by the company’s IT failure. Many people told me about the lack of knowledge or information provided by BA staff. One American woman on a stop-over described how an employee asked what the queue they were standing in was for. Some passengers slept on yoga mats provided by the airline as conference rooms were opened to provide somewhere more comfortable to rest.

A number of people arrived at the airport for 05:00 and were still none the wiser by lunch time whether they’d be home any time soon. As the day has progressed, British Airways appears to have more of a grip on the situation. The departure lounge has calmed down and many have rearranged their flights. But the terminal is still full of hour-long queues and for many this wasn’t how they had hoped to spend their Bank Holiday weekend.

People sleeping in Heathrow Airport

There have been reports that some passengers who departed from Heathrow on Saturday found their luggage was not at their destination when they landed. Terry Page, 28, arrived in Fort Worth, Texas after delays and said “about 50” passengers did not have their check-in luggage.

British Airways could face a bill of at least £100m in compensation, additional customer care and lost business resulting from an IT meltdown that affected more than 1,000 flights over the weekend.

Source: BBC, Guardian

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