British Airways still faces disruptions after flights resume at London airports

Passengers stand at the British Airways check-in Saturday at the airport in Fiumicino, near Rome, after London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports suffered an IT systems failure. Photo by Telenews/EPA

May 28 (UPI) — British Airways’ flights from London’s two airports resumed Sunday after a massive computer failure, but passengers still faced long lines, cancellations and delays.

The airline said, “We are continuing to work hard to fully restore all of our global IT systems.” It hoped for a “near normal schedule” at Gatwick and the “majority of services” from Heathrow on Sunday.

Updated schedules were available on websites at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Between 6 and 11 a.m. Sunday, 90 flights had left Heathrow and 36 were canceled.

On Saturday, several hundred flights were canceled at Heathrow and Gatwick because of a major systems failure believed to have been caused by a power supply issue.

Passengers reported chaotic scenes at check-in counters and in waiting areas. Many reported their baggage did not arrive at their destinations after flying out of the London airports, which serve as major hubs for worldwide travel.

Affected customers are being refunded or rebooked on new flights. Customers also may receive money for hotel rooms, ground transportation and meals.

“Customers and from the airline’s point of view manpower — dealing with the backlog of aircraft out of position, parking spaces for the aircraft — it’s a challenge and a choreographic nightmare,” air industry consultant John Strickland said to the Evening Standard.

One traveler from Seattle told the BBC she had spent the evening sleeping on the floor of a hotel conference room.

Other passengers napped on yoga mats in airport conference rooms.

“I know this has been a horrible time for customers,” chief executive Alex Cruz said in a statement. “We’re not there yet, but we are doing our very best to sort things out for you.”

It was a busy weekend to fly because of a bank holiday in Britain and Memorial Day in the United States.


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