British Airways CEO 'profusely sorry' for global computer outage

British Airways had said a "major IT system failure" forced Saturday's cancellation of all scheduled flights from the two airports.

British Airways hasn't given a cost for the disruption.

Gareth Ebenezer, who was on his way to Dublin to watch a rugby union final, told CNN he gave up and went home after getting caught up in the chaos at Heathrow. Delta said it lost $100 million in revenue as a result of the outage.

Cruz apologized in a video statement, saying: "I know this has been a disgusting time for customers".

Efforts to restore operations to normal took longer than anticipated.

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

The Sun newspaper, quoting one source close to the airline said the problems could have been limited had IT staff outsourced to India known how to get its back-up system online quickly.

When asked what caused that particular issue at the time, a spokeswoman for BA said: "It is patchy".

British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA and the biggest trans-Atlantic carrier on routes between Britain and the US, didn't say how many passengers were affected.

Thousands of bags remain at Heathrow Airport, but BA has advised passengers not to return to collect them, saying they will be couriered to customers.

On top of that, the airline will pay compensation to customers for the delays, though he added it looked likely to be a one-off cost which would be limited given the resumption of flights on Sunday and Monday.

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

"We operated a full schedule at Gatwick on Sunday". He urged passengers not to come to the airport too early, though, because it is packed.

Passengers - some of whom had spent the night at the airport - faced frustrating waits to learn if and when they could fly out.

Michael Gierse, a fund manager at Lufthansa shareholder Union Investment, said all companies, not just airlines, should have a board member responsible for IT.

"As long as an airline deals with outages in a sensible and customer friendly way, lasting brand damage is unlikely", he said.

Air industry consultant John Strickland said: "There's a massive knock-on effect. Many, many people haven't gone anywhere because of British Airways and this system glitch that they've had".

BA passengers were hit with severe delays in July and September 2016 because of problems with the airline's online check-in systems.

  • Leroy Wright