British Airways is in the grips of another major issue after a serious technical glitch left thousands of passengers stranded all over the world. Most of BA’s long haul flights coming into London Heathrow and Gatwick got delayed by hours after the airline failed to rectify the issue.
Frustrated travellers even took to social media to vent.
Unexplained technical glitch brings British Airways operations to a screeching halt
The UK’s busiest airports – Heathrow and Gatwick – saw hundreds of flights either delayed or cancelled, as flagship operator British Airways suffered a severe technical glitch. Not just flights departing from England, but flights coming into the UK too were stopped for hours, as ground crews scrambled to identify and address the breakdown.
When asked what the actual problem was, travellers received no response from the airline. A lack of proper communication left hoards of passengers feeling irritated. However, an official from Gatwick Airport told the BBC that the airline’s flight plan handling system was to blame. However, British Airways are yet to confirm.
Of the flights affected, those heading into Gatwick and Heathrow from Mexico, India, and Japan encountered the worst delays. Passengers at their departure airports had to wait for about 24 hours before the flights finally took off.
London-bound flights from the Caribbean and Cancun arrived 22 hours late. Flights heading in from New York City, Antigua, Barbados, and Bermuda too were left stranded at their departure hubs for hours.
Flight BA170 coming in from Pittsburg touched down 12 hours later than scheduled, while the Las Vegas to London route experienced a 6-hour delay. Seventeen other long-hauls reached the UK about 2 hours after scheduled arrival.
Apart from these delays, over 100 BA flights got cancelled across the world as a result of the technical issue. All of these delays and cancellations will have a knock-on effect on flights heading into the holiday season.
BA apologizes on social media, makes accommodation arrangements for stranded passengers
According to estimates, more than 75000 BA passengers are expected to have arrived at their destinations later than scheduled. Many lost an entire day to the problem. Worse, passengers from many London-bound flights were stuck on the runway throughout the glitch and weren’t allowed to deboard despite repeated pleas. Disgruntled and disappointed travellers took to Facebook and Twitter to lash out at BA.
In response, the BA team apologised and confirmed that their technical crews were in the midst of sorting out the issue. The airline management requested passengers to check their official website to place requests for accommodation arrangements.
Most of the long-haul flight passengers were provided rooms and food during the time of the delay. Additionally, BA also made alternate travel arrangements for a small number of travellers.
Airline faces massive compensation bills
The extremely long delays and cancellations brought an equally long compensation bill for British Airways. According to EU regulation 261, passengers are allowed to seek between £210 and £510 in compensation per head, depending on the duration of the delay.