Computer crash disrupts British Airways flights

Computer crash disrupts British Airways flights
May 28 11:14 2017

Serious problems with British Airways’ IT systems have led to thousands of passengers having their plans disrupted, after all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick were cancelled on Saturday.

Passengers described “chaotic” scenes at the airports, with some criticising BA for a lack of information.

According to the BBC, the airline has apologised, and told passengers not to come to the airport.

BA chief executive Alex Cruz said: “We believe the root cause was a power supply issue.”

In a video statement released via Twitter, he added: “I am really sorry we don’t have better news as yet, but I can assure you our teams are working as hard as they can to resolve these issues.”

Mr Cruz said there was no evidence the computer problems were the result of a cyber attack.

The airline hoped to be able to operate some long haul inbound flights later on Saturday, landing in London on Sunday, Mr Cruz added.

The GMB union has suggested the failure could have been avoided, had the airline not outsourced its IT work.

BA denied the claim, saying: “We would never compromise the integrity and security of our IT systems”.

All passengers affected by the failure – which coincides with the first weekend of the half-term holiday for many in the UK – will be offered the option of rescheduling or a refund.

The airline, which had previously said flights would be cancelled until 18:00 BST, has now cancelled all flights for Saturday and asked passengers not to come to Gatwick or Heathrow airports.

Other airlines flying in and out of the two airports are unaffected.

Architect and TV presenter George Clarke was stuck in Heathrow. He told the BBC it was one of the “most turbulent, badly organised days, that I’ve ever experienced in Britain”.

“The lack of communication all day was woeful. There wasn’t a single Tannoy announcement all day in the terminal, not a single member of staff came up to us,” he said.

“The only time I found out my flight was cancelled was from the BBC News website.”
The problems have affected BA call centres, the website and the mobile app.

Aviation expert Julian Bray said: “It’s frozen the whole system so no British Airways plane can actually take off, they can’t move the baggage, they can’t issue passenger credentials, in fact they can’t do anything at all.

“This is a very serious problem, they should have been able to switch to an alternative system – surely British Airways should be able to do this.”

Malcolm Ginsberg, editor in chief at Business Travel News, expects the disruption to last for “three or four days”.

BA aircraft landing at Heathrow are unable to park as outbound aircraft cannot vacate the gates, which has resulted in passengers being stuck on aircraft.