British Airways IT failure
A disruption from a British Airways IT failure affected more than 1000 flights on Saturday, 27th May. All airline flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports were grounded on Saturday, services did manage to resume after a while but with cancellations and delays. By 11am 36 flights had been cancelled and 36 had departed, there were no cancellations at Gatwick but passengers experienced delays of over 30 minutes.
Due to these cancellations and delays passengers missed original or adjoining flights to their destinations. As flights were being cancelled and people were eager to get away for the bank holiday weekend and the upcoming half-term school holidays, passengers headed to Kings Cross Station. The station was packed with people trying to make their way up north, with traveller’s queueing out of the doors and onto the platform for the 9am train to Edinburgh. However due to the excess of passengers waiting to board those who were unable to get onto the 9am train were told that another train was departing at 9:30am from a different platform, but not all passengers would be guaranteed a seat.
Airport staff handed out “yoga mats” as well as thin blankets for those passengers who were stuck waiting overnight for their flights to be corrected. Some of the lucky passengers who managed to make it onto a flight on Saturday later found out that their luggage did not. Many people were told they would have to wait until Monday at the earliest to be reunited with their belongings.
British Airways released a statement on Saturday updating customers who were due to fly later that day. Chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz, explained that due to IT failures affecting their check-in and operating systems that all flights would be cancelled. They apologised for the inconvenience the system failure had caused and ensured that they would help their customers to “get on their way as soon as possible”. However, due to the IT failure, the rebooking facility was “limited”. Any customers that no longer wished to travel were told they would be fully refunded. Customers were told to check the British Airways Twitter account, their website and the websites for Heathrow and Gatwick airports instead of calling their helpline as many customers due to fly out flooded the lines. British Airways said the system failure was due to a power supply issue and had no evidence of the failure being related to a cyber-attack.
Having issues with cancelled and delayed flights is always the last thing you want to hear when arriving at the airport for your holiday. Losing bags or being without bags can also provide issues when you finally do get abroad as your money and clothes could be in the suitcase. Ensure that you have the appropriate measurements in place in the event that something like this occurs when travelling. It would be wise to always keep a small amount of cash and some change of clothes in your hand luggage with you so that you do not end up stuck or stranded in another country. Before travelling anywhere you should ensure that you keep informed with any issues at the airport so that you can arrive in due time to accommodate for any delays or issues with check-in.
Keeping passports and flight documentation safe at home before travelling is essential so that loss or misplacement of these don’t affect your plans. We would recommend installing a home safe to keep these vital documents and papers protected. This way you know that everything you need to travel is in place, then it’s just down to the airports!
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