IT Glitch Grounds British Airways Check-In System

IT problems have blighted British Airways’ check-in systems, causing major delays and forcing the airline to revert back to manual methods.

The incident came to light when angry passengers took to social media site to vent their frustration at the delays, with some uploading pictures of hand-written boarding passes to Twitter.

This prompted rumours of an IT glitch being the culprit for the delays, and BA later confirmed it was the source of the problem to ITV News.

“Our IT teams are working as hard as they can to quickly fix a problem with our check-in system,” a spokeswoman told the broadcaster, going on to apologise for the delays and disruption.

IT outage

While British Airways’ Twitter account apologised to customers for the delay at 5:31am, at 8:09am the airline posted that it was checking in passengers as normal at both Heathrow and Gatwick, but many people tweeted at the company that was not the case and said they were unable to check-in online.

British Airways has yet to reveal what prompted such an outage with its check-in system, but the glitch had a far reaching affect causing delays as far as San Francisco.

The airline had a new check-in system that went live last October, but it has ran into problems in June and July at Heathrow, so the glitches it has encountered over the past 24 hours could be an extension of those issues.

The situation is a good example of the need for robust fail-safe and backup systems for companies upgrading IT infrastructure critical to their effective operation, particularly when in the case of British Airways that infrastructure is part of an operation involving around 700 flights a day.

British Airways is currently in the process of rolling out in-flight Wi-Fi on its long haul flights, so it will be hoping that its partnership with satellite broadband operator Gogo will see the implementation of the Wi-Fi a less disruptive process that upgrading its check-in system.

Perhaps British Airways should make more use of the cloud, but are you clued up with cloud? Show us your knowledge of cloud news from the last few months!

Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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