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British Airways IT Systems Glitch Causes Bank Holiday Flight Chaos

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Inquest begins after BA aimed to run all flights from Gatwick and most from Heathrow on Monday

A worldwide systems crash systems crash at British Airways has caused significant disruption and flight cancellations since Saturday, with thousands of passengers stranded.

It appears as though there is no sinsister explanation for the issue, which some have claimed is due to cost cutting and IT outsourcing.

The outage, which BA blamed on a “power supply issue”, led to the cancellation of all its flights from both Heathrow and Gatwick on Saturday, with dozens more flights cancelled on Sunday.

Sleeping on yoga mats

As a result, many travellers spent Saturday night sleeping on airport floors on yoga mats provided by BA. The airline is expected to face a bill of more than £100 million for transport, acommodation and meals provided to stranded passengers.

Many who were able to depart reported finding their luggage hadn’t accompanied them.

Heathrow Terminal 2 (3)
All flights operated from Gatwick on Sunday, but more than one-third of BA’s schedule out of Heathrow, mostly short-haul flights, were cancelled.

The airline said it plans to run a full schedule of flights out of Gatwick on Monday as well as a full long-haul schedule and a “high proportion” of short-haul flights from Heathrow.

BA said it was making “good progress” in recovering from the glitch. It posted a video of chief executive Alex Cruz on Twitter who apologised and admitted it had been a “horrible time for our customers”.

The airline said it was continuing to deal with knock-on effects from the Saturday outage.

Continued disruption

“We operated a full schedule at Gatwick on Sunday,” the company stated. “At Heathrow, we operated virtually all our scheduled long-haul flights, though the knock-on effects of Saturday’s disruption resulted in a reduced short-haul programme.

“We apologise again to customers for the frustration and inconvenience they are experiencing and thank them for their continued patience.”

Early on Monday Heathrow Airport said there continued to be “some disruption” to BA flights, and advised those whose flights had been cancelled not to travel to the airport unless they had already rebooked on another flight.

“Passengers looking to re-book flights should go to ba.com,” the airport stated.

Gatwick Airport gave similar advice in a Monday post on Twitter.

BA said there was no evidence hackers had played any role in the outage, and denied claims by the union GMB that the problem may have been linked to the company outsourcing its IT work.

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