British Airways cancels all flights from London airports after IT failure

A global computer outage struck British Airways' systems early Saturday, at the beginning of a busy holiday weekend in both the United States and the UK, forcing the airline to cancel all flights leaving both London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports.

The outage came on a busy weekend in Britain, where Monday is a public holiday and many schoolchildren are beginning their half-term break.

"It's a complete nightmare", one person stuck at Heathrow told Reuters, also describing long waits and confusion among the airline's staff.

The chaos comes on what is a Bank Holiday weekend in the United Kingdom, involving thousands of additional journeys as people make use of the long weekend due to an annual holiday on Monday. Please visit the original post to view it.

The IT problems caused the airline to cancel all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday and was still causing problems on Sunday.

Passengers at Heathrow reported long lines at check-in counters and the failure of the airline's website and mobile app. BA says the problems have also affected call centers. At Heathrow alone, BA had 406 flights scheduled to depart after 9am and a further 71 at Gatwick, according to flightstats.com on Saturday. "None were working, apart from one", said Terry Page, booked on a flight to Texas.

British Airlines representatives repeatedly apologized for the problem on its Twitter account - which did not go down with the other system, and thus hosted a barrage of complaints throughout the day.

The incident follows similarly disruptive IT outages at USA airlines previous year that affected Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.

The company said there was no evidence the failure was the result of a cyber attack.

"Following the major IT system failure experienced earlier today, with regret we have had to cancel all flights leaving from Heathrow and Gatwick for the rest of today, Saturday, May 27. Then eventually they had some manual workaround that took a while, but we managed to eventually get out", Chris Carter said.

"We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this is causing our customers during this busy holiday period".

"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".

  • Zachary Reyes