Third day of travel chaos for Heathrow BA passengers

Walker said there was no question that BA would have to pay out compensation under the European Union scheme which demands payments for flights delayed by at least three hours as a result of reasons within the airline's control.

The airline must offer food and drink, as well as access to phone calls and emails, if there were significant delays. The same applies for those booked on short-haul flights on Tuesday 30 May.

Still, many passengers were unable to secure accommodations as many airport area hotels were sold out.

Over the weekend, Delta Airlines temporarily grounded all domestic flights due to an unexplained technical error, the second major American airline to do so in the last seven days. "We are also continuing to give passengers free water and snacks".

British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA and the biggest trans-Atlantic carrier on routes between Britain and the USA, didn't say how many passengers were affected.

The compensation is not automatic - customers have to write a letter of complaint to the airline.

A total of 145 British Airways flights, or 16 percent, were canceled by 10:15 p.m. United Kingdom time on Sunday, while 381, or 42 percent, were delayed, according to Flight Aware, a Houston tracking service.

BA grounded all planes from Gatwick and Heathrow on Saturday, causing chaos for thousands.

Heathrow, in a tweet on Sunday, said further delays and cancellations of BA flights were expected.

She said airport staff had handed out mats, as well as thin blankets, for people who were stuck there overnight.

The GMB union said the airline's decision to outsource hundreds of IT jobs to India past year was behind the problems, the Guardian reported. He and other passengers arrived, but their luggage did not.

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.

"We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this is causing our customers during this busy holiday period", British Airways said in its statement.

The airline said it aimed to operate the majority of services from Heathrow and a near normal schedule from Gatwick. British Airways has declined to specify figures for flights or customers affected. "BA can't get away with refunding passengers and hoping that's the end of the matter - they are obliged to provide compensation under Regulation 261/2004 and we're preparing for a busy week helping passengers recover that compensation".

The problems also created a knock-on effect on BA's operations around the world. "We believe the root cause was a power supply issue and we have no evidence of any cyberattack".

Passengers who reach their destination more than three hours late are entitled to compensation ranging from 200 to 600 euros, depending on the length of the flights and delay.

Mr Cruz said in a statement on Sunday afternoon that numerous systems are back up but the knock-on effect is continuing.

He said: 'I know this has been a frightful time for customers.

  • Zachary Reyes