Chaos as all flights cancelled at Heathrow and Gatwick after computer failure
A massive global IT failure has led to all British Airways flights from Heathrow and Gatwick being cancelled - causing chaos for the airline.
Every single departure that had been scheduled on Saturday 27th May was cancelled, with the airline asking passengers not to even travel to the airport, in a bid to reduce crowding and confusion.
Planes were grounded around the world, leaving passengers stuck in terminal buildings, or on planes themselves, as a shortage of available gates meant incoming passengers had no opportunity to disembark. Many customers reported waiting up to three hours to get off their flights.
The chaos struck around 11am on Saturday morning when British Airway’s new IT system crashed worldwide. And it’s not the first time this has happened, the system has crashed six times within the past 12 months.
By Saturday night, the airline confirmed that they were hoping to provide a “near normal” service at Gatwick from Sunday morning as well as “the majority of services” from Heathrow.
With many disappointed holiday makers and frustrated travellers left stranded, many hotels in the vicinity of the airport appeared to be taking advantage of the situation, charging between £1,000 - £2,500 a night.
The airline was inundated with complaints from thousands of customers who had been left stranded and totally in the dark about what was happening with their flights, bags, and compensation. Many travellers took to Twitter to complain about their grounded flights, unavailable online services, and substantial queues.
In response to this, British Airways released a video online of CEO Alex Cruz apologising to passengers. In the video, he explained that the global IT failure was down to a problem with a power supply and that technical teams were working tirelessly to get the systems back up and running.
He also stated that travellers affected by the IT issue would be offered full refunds, however many pointed out that he made no mention of the EU 261 rules that entitles passengers to compensation of up to 600 Euros for delays over three hours or cancellation of the actual flight.
A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport, said: “An issue with a worldwide British Airways’ IT system is causing some delays for passengers at Heathrow this morning. We are working closely with the airline to resolve this, and are advising passengers to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport.
“Extra Heathrow customer service colleagues have been called in to assist passengers in terminals while this issue is resolved.”