British Airways passengers advised to head to airport early

At Heathrow, the airline restored long-haul services on Sunday but had to cancel some short-haul flights.

ABC News on Saturday observed thousands of passengers at one of British Airways' terminals at Heathrow Airport, with some saying they were never alerted that their flights were canceled.

The airline said it is "closer to full operational capacity" after an IT power outage resulted in mass flight cancellations at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

The general union argued that the mess could have been prevented had it not been for BA's greed, which cost the jobs of around 200 British staff previous year.

She said the airline's IT network was being brought back on-line, but some parts of it remained out of action at noon local time: "We're still having some problems with some systems". Flight compensation website estimated that around 800 flights were canceled at Gatwick and Heathrow on Saturday and Sunday.

The airline is urging customers to check that their flight is operating before heading to the airport.

The IT failure was caused by a short but catastrophic power surge at 9.30am on Saturday that affected the company's messaging system, he said, and the backup system failed to work properly. The company said there was no evidence the failure was the result of a cyber attack.

Passengers were asked to contact the airline in order to locate their luggage, after many were forced to leave Heathrow without claiming their bags.

The GMB union, however, said the disruption "could have all been avoided" if BA had not cut hundreds of IT jobs in Britain and transferred the work to India.

At the same time, CEO Alex Cruz posted videos apologizing for what he said was a disgusting period for passengers.

Passengers still face hours-long lines to check in, reclaim lost luggage or rebook flights at Terminal 5, BA's hub at Heathrow.

These can amount to €600 ($670) per passenger and the airline has also had to pay for refreshments and other expenses for tens of thousands of passengers stranded at airports.

Giving his first media interview since the global computer failure on Saturday (27 May), Cruz apologised "profusely" over the outage and pledged to let it not happen again.

Many people told me about the lack of knowledge or information provided by BA staff.

With the knock-on effect possibly continuing for several days, BA is facing huge compensation costs, with reports suggesting that the bill could top £100 million.

"We continue to advise customers travelling with British Airways over the Bank Holiday Weekend to check the status of their flight with British Airways before travelling to the airport".

A large number of passengers whose travel plans were disrupted also have been separated from their bags.

  • Zachary Reyes