Shares in British Airways' parent company tumble

British Airways (BA) said it would take steps to ensure there was no repeat of a computer system failure that stranded 75,000 passengers over a holiday weekend and turned into a public relations disaster.

BA said it was making "good progress" in recovering from the glitch.

Bill Curtis, SVP and chief scientist at CAST, said: "Airline computers juggle multiple systems that must interact to control gate, reservations, ticketing and frequent fliers". "They are trying to improve incrementally while still maintaining their ongoing service".

In an interview on the BBC on Monday, BA chief executive Alex Cruz said he would not resign over the issue and denied that last year's IT outsourcing deal to India's Tata Consultancy Services had been to blame for the problem.

Other problems include the fact that most legacy airline computer systems are old and outdated, and the merger wave that swept the industry in recent decades only made things worse, as the new mega-airlines that emerged had to integrate often disparate systems.

However, he said he had no intention of stepping down as the group was accused of implementing cost cuts that left the company vulnerable to system failures. The IT failure has resulted in a huge backlog, which will be extremely hard to catch up with, and airline experts are estimating that it will take many days for British Airways operations to return to absolute normalcy.

"We know what happened, we are investigating why it happened".

Some Twitter users didn't see the amusing side and were unhappy that the company with "THE worst customer service known to man" (as one Twitter user put it) dared to have a sense of humour.

"We are now focusing on making sure everyone's needs are addressed".

British Airways will meet all claims for compensation stipulated by European Union rules for cancelled or heavily delayed flights, after the systems failure at the weekend disrupted travel for thousands of passengers, the airline has told The Independent.

BA said in its statement late on Monday evening: "We are extremely sorry for the frustration and inconvenience customers experienced over the Bank Holiday weekend and thank them for their patience and understanding". We are delivering bags to customers, at homes or hotels, as soon as the bags arrive at their final destination.

Yesterday British Airways apologised for the chaos caused to customers across Britain and the globe. Customers can also learn how to report and track delayed bags on the airline's website.

"It's a bank holiday here, it's half term so the kids are off school".

"The main cost will be compensations - depending on how many people claim it, my guess would be it could reach around €50 million ($56 million)", Furlong said.

Shares of IAG - the parent company behind BA - opened 4% lower in London on 30 May.

  • Joanne Flowers