South African British Airways travellers to carry printed copy of e-ticket

On Saturday all British Airways flights were cancelled from Gatwick and Heathrow airports and the issues continued into yesterday morning.

British Airways says it is operating a full service out of Gatwick and a full long-haul service out of Heathrow today, following a worldwide computer system crash.

Cruz said that the airline was running a "near-full operation" at London's Gatwick Airport and planned to operate all scheduled long-haul services from Heathrow.

BA was forced to cancel Saturday flights out of London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

BA said it meant to run a full long-haul schedule at Heathrow and a "high proportion" of its short-haul programme, and a full schedule at Gatwick.

More than 1,000 flights were affected. It denied claims by the GMB union that problem could be linked to the company outsourcing its IT work.

"At this stage we know there was an exceptional power surge that collapsed our IT systems, bringing down all our flight, baggage and customer communication systems", said the CEO of British Airways, Alex Cruz, in a statement Monday.

The BA is liable to reimburse thousands of passengers for refreshments and hotel expenses, and travel industry commentators have suggested the cost to the company - part of Europe's largest airline group IAG - could run into tens of millions of pounds.

Alex Cruz, BA chairman and CEO, apologised to customers in a video message on Twitter and said, "I know this has been a disgusting time for customers".

After the outage caused more than 1,000 flights to be delayed or cancelled, including BA's sister airlines in Spain, Iberia and Air Nostrum, focus quickly turned to Mr Cruz's handling of the company, having shut down the airline's computer department previous year, slashing 700 jobs in the UK.

An AFP photographer at Heathrow's Terminal 5 on Saturday said many travellers were waiting outside the departure area with their luggage in "chaotic" scenes.

During the wait of more than three and a half hours passengers read on their phones of the global IT disruption which had left all of BA's London outbound flights cancelled and thousands of passengers' holiday plans in tatters.

"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".

Many have had their flights cancelled, have been separated from their luggage or are now stranded overseas as the airline struggles to recover from Saturday's incident.

British Airways has experienced other recent computer glitches.

Heathrow Airport recommended passengers not leave home unless they rebooked their flights.

  • Zachary Reyes