Chaos as more than 500 British Airways flights impacted by IT glitch
British Airways was forced to cancel hundreds of flights on Wednesday, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded at airports around the world, according to The Guardian.
London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and City were the airports most affected by the computer failure, the latest in a series of operational problems to hit the airline.
BA refused to reveal the number of flights affected but according to Flightstats.com, which tracks arrivals and departures, by 5.30pm on Wednesday the airline had cancelled 140 flights and a further 370 had been delayed.
BA said its latest systems failures affected only the London airports, but the disruption had knock-on effects across the network, including at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast and in many European destinations when incoming flights failed to arrive.
Customers experienced difficulties checking in online, and queues formed in airport departure areas as the airline moved to manual systems to keep flights operating.
Some social media users reported that, on flights that did take off, the food and drink service was affected.
About half of the BA flights scheduled to depart from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 between 9.30am and midday were cancelled or delayed, according to the airport’s website.
“We apologise to all our customers caught up in the disruption, and appreciate how frustrating their experience has been,” British Airways said in a statement. “Our teams have been working tirelessly to get the vast majority of customers on their way, with most of our flights departing.”
It added: “Our flights are returning to normal. However, there may be some knock-on operational disruption.” The airline was still advising passengers to check for flight information on its website before travelling to the airport.