It has been a day of complete misery for thousands of British Airways passengers as yet another IT glitch has caused a mass outage at check-in and departure operations at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City Airports.
On Wednesday the airline cancelled more than 130 flights and more than 210 have been delayed because of the computer issues that first struck early in the morning. Whilst the exact cause has not yet been disclosed, British Airways insists it wasn’t caused by a power surge – in May 2017 a power surge was blamed for knocking out almost all of the carrier’s systems stranding hundreds of thousands of passengers as the airline axed over 700 flights.
The airline has also recently received a massive fine over two data security breaches on its website last year that saw hackers steal the the personal details including payment card numbers and expiry dates of over 500,000 passengers.
Some former BA workers have again blamed the fact the airline has outsourced most of its IT infrastructure to India, whilst dramatically cutting the number of UK based IT professionals it employs in order to cut costs and return even bigger profits for parent company IAG. “They way BA have hacked away at the IT departments over the last four or so years, its not surprising something like this has happened, to be honest I’ve been expecting something like this for some time.” Tony, a former BA employee told us on Wednesday evening.
Wednesday’s incident affected both the check-in systems and those at the departure gates which caused major headaches for airport staff and travel disruption for thousands of passengers. British Airways has said it has fixed the IT systems now but warned there could be “knock-on operational disruption” over the coming days.
“Our teams have been working tirelessly to get the vast majority of customers on their way, with most of our flights departing. Our flights are returning to normal, however, there may be some knock-on operational disruption as a result of the issue earlier today. We continue to advise customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information before coming to the airport.” the airline said.
For flights that are delayed or cancelled passengers may be entitled to compensation under the EU
Passengers may be able to claim for:
Hotel accommodation (where necessary).
Transport between the hotel and the airport (where necessary).
Meals and refreshments.
Two telephone calls or internet-related costs to contact people outside the airport.
Costs have to be reasonable.
The levels of compensation are limited by EU regulation as follows:
250 EUR for flights of up to 1,500km
400 EUR for flights within the EU of more than 1,500km, and for all other flights between 1,500km and 3,500km
600 EUR for all other flights