In the last few months, there were reports in nearly all major newspapers about the flight delays suffered by passengers travelling by British Airways all over the world. Several thousand BA passengers were given the same explanation of “computer system glitches” for the delays.Travellers looking to board their night flights (UK time), especially in North America, were faced by long queues at the check-in counter. Typically, the systems used all over the world for check-in had failed and the staff had to manually issue boarding passes to passengers along with handing over luggage tags.
The reputed global airline was heavily criticized for its inability to handle overnight flight delays which left the passengers stranded at the airports for long hours without any customer service facilities such as food or water.
Passengers angered by BA neglect
Due to the problem with the computer systems, the British Airways staff operating at overseas airports could not give onward boarding passes to travellers for their connecting flights. This meant that they had to stand in a queue again upon arriving at the Heathrow airport. This led a lot of passengers to vent their anger having been subjected to hours and hours of delay because of check-in systems failure at the carrier. Several passengers complained that the staff members were not willing to provide them with a lot of information and one of them even excused herself saying she needed to offer help to a passenger who fallen ill owing to the delay and subsequent wait.
On September 6th, British Airways released a statement apologizing for the inconvenience caused to its travellers worldwide due to flight delays. The morning after the delays, it said that the IT glitches which had resulted in chaos for certain overnight passengers had been fixed. The passengers would be able to check-in normally once again.Further, the airline said that they were trying to tackle the backlog post the problems impacting their computerized check-in systems.
What are the rules for flight delays? Will you be compensated?
With all the flight delay news coming in from all over the world, passengers are left wondering if compensation can be expected in case of flight delays.
For those departing from or arriving at an EU airport on an EU aircraft, they are entitled to both compensation and care as per the EU Regulation 261/2004 if the delayed arrival time exceeds over two hours. In such a scenario, the airline needs to offer suitable food and drink (usually in voucher form) as well as a way of communicating the delay (or offer refund the cost of necessary calls).
In case of overnight flight delays, an airline is mandated to offer transport and hotel accommodation. In case there is a serious disruption and the staff is unable to offer hotel booking assistance, passengers may make their own stay arrangements and ask for a refund. However a full refund cannot be expected in case you pick an expensive hotel when a less budget alternative is available.