BA travel problems enter 3rd day as most services resume

Thousands faced travel disruption after a British Airways IT failure caused the airline to cancel most of its services.

The boss of British Airways has said he will not resign after thousands of passengers were left stranded over the bank holiday weekend, claiming the disruption had nothing to do with cutting costs.

Experts also told the BBC that IT crash had seriously damaged the airline's brand reputation that could impact on summer travel bookings causing further losses.

With the long weekend and half-term school holidays commencing this week, a vast number of people had taken off on a holiday On Sunday night, the airline issued a statement saying that it was able to set up operations in full swing at Gatwick Airport, and set up long haul flights from Heathrow Airport.

The firm's chief executive Alex Cruz said on Monday that the power surge was so strong that it also rendered the back-up systems ineffective.

All BA flights from Heathrow and Gatwick were grounded on Saturday due to what it called a "global system outage" and while services resumed on Sunday, close to 200 flights were cancelled and delayed to and from Heathrow due to knock-on effects, according to some calculations.

Ireland's Ryanair was quick to seize on the marketing opportunity, tweeting "Should have flown Ryanair" with a picture of the "Computer says no" sketch from the TV series "Little Britain" to poke fun at BA.

The Spanish businessman insisted that outsourcing of jobs was not to blame for the "catastrophic" IT failure, after the GMB union suggested the chaos could have been prevented if the airline had not cut "hundreds of dedicated and loyal" IT staff and contracted the work to Indian staff in 2016.

But BA denied that this was the reason.

Deutsche Bank analysts estimated that the airline would have to pay around 47 million euros to passengers, while the cost to restore the airline's network could be as much as 15 million euros.

Shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group fell around 3% in the first day of trading in London - the same day the company confirmed it will operate a full flight schedule from Gatwick and Heathrow.

This had affected "all the operating of our systems - baggage, operations, power processing, he added".

British Airways' chief executive is "profusely" sorry for an IT meltdown he revealed has disrupted 75,000 passengers' flights. Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines have both faced major disruption in the past year as a result of IT failures attributed to power outages.

Between ticket refunds and compensation payments British Airways, like Delta before it, will be hundreds of millions out of pocket as a result of the failure of its backup systems.

Mr Cruz said there was "no evidence whatsoever" a cyberattack was behind the computer problems.

United Airlines recently struggled to contain a similar PR nightmare, after a video showing a passenger being manhandled and dragged off a plane against his will was posted to social media.

  • Zachary Reyes