BA, Iberia travelers face 3rd day of delays, cancellations

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

British Airways was battling its third day of disruption on Monday after a global computer system failure stranded thousands of passengers over a holiday weekend and turned into a public relations disaster.

BA chief executive Alex Cruz said the airline was running a "near-full operation" at London's Gatwick Airport and planned to operate all scheduled long-haul services from Heathrow.

BA was forced to cancel Saturday flights out of both airports, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

More than 1,000 flights were affected.

In a letter to customers at Gatwick Airport the airline said it would be happy to "consider" compensating passengers for meals, refreshments, hotels, and transport to and from their accommodation if an overnight stay is necessary'. Cruz said that to reduce overcrowding travellers will only be let into the terminal 90 minutes before their flights.

The airline claimed it was making "good progress" in recovering from the worldwide IT glitch.

He added that no BA passengers' data had been compromised in the IT meltdown and said there was no evidence it was the result of a cyber attack, promising not to allow such an outage to happen again.

While BA flight schedule may be returning to normal, its employee union has upped the ante against Indian tech major the airline had past year outsourced IT jobs to.

"BA's disastrous computer systems failure is another example of the shortcomings of BA IT systems since they made a number of staff redundant, and outsourced their work to India in 2016", PTI reported the union as saying GMB.

The IT systems of airlines come into play at every step, including ticket booking, check-in and boarding, while technology is updated periodically to streamline operations and cut costs.

At Heathrow, short haul flights continued to be affected through Sunday and Monday with cancellations affecting flights to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Marseille, Vienna, Amsterdam, Milan and cities across the UK.

The disruption continued into Sunday, with queues building up as passengers tried to rebook flights.

British Airways customers flying from Heathrow had to face delays yet again on Sunday, whereas British Airways ran its normal schedule at the Gatwick.

In a statement shared on the company's Facebook page, BA said: "Although some of the IT systems have returned, there will be some knock-on disruption to our schedules as aircraft and crews are out of position around the world". He and other passengers arrived, but their luggage did not.

"As long as an airline deals with outages in a sensible and customer friendly way, lasting brand damage is unlikely", he said.

British Airways urged passengers without rebooked flights on Sunday to stay home and check the carrier's website for status updates before proceeding to airports.

  • Carolyn Briggs