GMB blames staff cuts for BA IT mess

Passengers of the airline faced a third day of disruption at Heathrow on Monday after BA cancelled short-haul flights over the failure, although the airline operated a full service from Gatwick Airport.

A spokesman said staff were "continuing to give passengers free water and snacks".

Passengers scheduled to travel on flights on Monday have been told they can get a refund for their ticket, even if is scheduled to run, as have those expecting to get short-haul flights on Tuesday. Twenty-seven departures and arrivals were already cancelled on Monday, and 58 were delayed.

Due to unresolved technical glitches, British Airways (BA) advises passengers departing South Africa to make their way to the airport early.

"An IT failure is most likely the responsibility of the airline, and it is therefore legally required to compensate its passengers", says Eve Buechner.

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.

Data from flight tracker flightaware.com showed BA's sister airlines in Spain, Iberia and Air Nostrum, cancelled over 300 flights on Monday, a bank holiday in the United Kingdom that sees a high level of air travel.

In all, CEO and Chairman Alex Cruz, who has posted several apology videos of his own this weekend, told Sky News the malfunction disrupted some 75,000 passengers' flights.

The airline Monday asked passengers again to check their flights status before setting out for the airports, which were crowded over the weekend with so many flights canceled and delayed.

Cruz said the origins of the problem, which also hit passengers trying to fly into Britain, had been a power surge on Saturday morning which affected messaging across BA's systems.

Sources pointed out that a number of those planning to travel with BA over the weekend from this country may not have shown up for flights once they heard of the mass cancellations.

Cruz added that there is "no evidence that there was a cyber-attack", and no customer data was compromised in the process.

Terry Page, 28, arrived in Fort Worth, Texas after delays and said "about 50" passengers did not have their check-in luggage.

According to The Guardian, British Airways could face a bill of at least 100 million pounds in compensation, additional customer care and lost business resulting from the incident.

British Airways has suffered other IT glitches recently, leading to severe delays for passengers in July and September past year.

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.

  • Zachary Reyes