British Airways cancels flights after major computer outage

British Airways says it is canceling all of its flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports for the rest of the day because of a "major IT system failure".

"We believe the root cause was a power supply issue and we have no evidence of any cyber attack", Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said in a video message on Twitter.

"We are extremely sorry for the huge disruption caused to customers throughout Saturday and understand how frustrating their experiences will have been".

Aviation expert Julian Bray told the BBC the problem froze the entire system impacting on planes taking off, as well as baggage, and accessing passenger details.

The disruption comes during a busy holiday weekend when thousands of Britons are travelling.

The airline has apologised for what it described as a “global system outage, ” saying it was hard at work at resolving the issue. The pilot said passengers on planes that have landed at Heathrow were unable to get off because there was nowhere to park.

All the affected passengers were corralled through a single gate so they could go back through border checks and then re-book flights. "There's just hundreds and thousands of people accumulating in the departures bit".

In August a power surge near US airline Delta's Atlanta headquarters caused computers to crash and led to widespread delays across Delta's entire network.

The system outage - on Britain's spring break holiday weekend - has "affected our call centres and our website but we will update customers as soon as we are able to", the airline added, the CNN reported.

The airline has suffered previous IT glitches, with passengers hit by severe delays in July and September past year.

British Airways is scrambling to sort out the problem and is offering full refunds to stranded passengers.

“Most long-haul flights due to land in London tomorrow (Sunday, May 28) are expected to arrive as normal, and we are working to restore our services from tomorrow, although some delays and disruption may continue into Sunday.

Some passengers said they had boarded flights but were then left stuck on the runway.

"Still on the tarmac at Leeds. For hour offer of drinks. and because ba only takes cards now, we only have cash.wat we supposed to do!??", Twitter user Julie Adie wrote.

Another, journalist Martyn Kent, wrote: "Sat on plane at Heathrow for hour and a half now".

  • Salvatore Jensen