BA says most flights running; angry passengers face delays

British Airways said Sunday it was recovering from a technology failure, but the carrier was still hobbled by the cancellation and delays of hundreds flights at London's airports during a holiday weekend flights.

In September previous year BA apologized to passengers for check-in delays caused by operational glitches that delayed flights at Gatwick and Heathrow, in a repeat of a similar incident that affected London-area flights for the airline last July.

Another traveler, PR executive Melissa Davis, said her BA plane was held for more than 90 minutes on the tarmac at Heathrow on a flight arriving from Belfast.

The firm's CEO, Spaniard Alex Cruz, released a second video, after an initial one he released on Saturday, in which he apologized to customers for the "horrible experience" they have had to endure, going on to thank them for their "understanding and patience", Efe news reported on Sunday.

The airline said it aimed to operate the majority of services from Heathrow and a near normal schedule from Gatwick.

Gatwick Airport said it was continuing to advise customers travelling with British Airways to check the status of their flight with the airline before travelling to the airport.

Today (Sunday) more than a third of BA flights from Heathrow were still cancelled and delays continued at Gatwick.

"We continue to make good progress in rebuilding our operation, following Saturday's major IT systems failure which severely affected our operations worldwide", the company said in a statement on Monday.

The airline is asking passengers not to go to the airports, which are still congested, until they have a confirmed flight reservation and they have been assured that the flight is scheduled properly.

British Airways hasn't given a cost for the disruption.

Mother-of-two Carrie Wright (44), from Baldoyle, in Dublin, waited in line at the ticket desk at Dublin Airport yesterday after her flight was cancelled.

The airline had initially canceled only flights before 1 p.m. ET (6 p.m. BST) at Heathrow and Gatwick. In July, Southwest Airlines Co., the No. 4 US carrier, canceled 2,300 flights over four days after a computer problem.

The British union GMB linked the IT problems directly to the company's decision to cut IT staff previous year.

The blackout also sparked anger among the passengers who were left without their luggage.

"This could have all been avoided", said Mick Rix, national officer for aviation at the GMB union.

The global outage also affected the airline's call centers.

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

Delta was hit by a global computer outage one month earlier that caused days of travel chaos, including about 2,000 flight cancellations.

  • Zachary Reyes