British Airways cancels flights as global IT outage causes chaos

On Saturday, British Airways (BA) canceled all its flights from London’s two biggest airports after a global computer system failure, with thousands of passengers queuing for hours and planes left stuck on runways.

Caused by a power supply problem, the failure disrupted the flight operations worldwide also hitting its call centers and website, said on Twitter Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of BA.

“All of our check-in and operational systems have been affected and we have canceled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick for today.

We are extremely sorry for the huge inconvenience this is causing our customers and we understand how frustrating this must be, especially for families hoping to get away on holiday.”

The problem came on a particularly busy weekend with a public holiday on Monday and many children starting their school half-term breaks. Terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick became jammed with angry passengers, with confused BA staff unable to help, as they had no access to their computers.

BA is the latest airline to be hit by computer problems. Last month Germany’s Lufthansa and Air France suffered a global system outage, which prevented them from boarding passengers.

BA said it would try to customers transferred onto the next flight although the re-booking process was being delayed by the system problems. Those unable to fly would get a full refund. Some passengers said they had boarded flights but were then left stuck on the runway.

Heathrow Airport in London, said in a statement “We are working closely with the airline to assist passengers who have been affected by the British Airways issue and have extra customer service colleagues in terminals to assist those passengers already at Heathrow.”

For memo, in February, IAG reported its annual operating profit rose 8.6% to 2.5 billion Euros and said its British Airways transatlantic business, based at Heathrow, had held up well compared with Europe’s highly competitive budget market.