Once again British Airways’ Heathrow operation is in disarray due to an IT failure. The Independent calculates that at least 110 flights, mainly domestic and European, have been cancelled on Thursday and Friday as BA struggles to operate without essential systems.
With many planes fully booked at the start of the bank holiday weekend, the number of passengers affected is likely to top 15,000 – with many more seriously delayed and/or encountering missed connections.
Fifty-five outbound short-haul flights were grounded on Thursday afternoon and evening, with 21 inbound trips also grounded on Thursday.
Friday morning sees 34 inbound flights cancelled, with the prospect of more delays and cancellations as British Airways recovers its operation.
Passengers whose trips are cancelled are entitled to accommodation, meals and cash compensation – though they may need to insist on their rights.
What went wrong?
“A technical issue,” according to a British Airways spokesperson. It is believed to involve the internal IT system that handles everything from passenger data to aircraft dispatch.
While some parts of the airline’s operation can be handled manually, so much depends on computers communicating with each other and the outside world.
Some IT specialists suggest that BA is vulnerable, like many big organisations, has systems in which cutting-edge technology coexists alongside “legacy” elements and processes that are almost prehistoric in computing terms.
How bad is it?
Not as dreadful as the 2017 IT meltdown over the same bank holiday weekend. On that occasion, during a routine systems upgrade, a switch was thrown that brought the entire British Airways Heathrow operation to a standstill: hundreds of thousands of passengers had their travel plans torn up.
This time, British Airways says: “The majority of our flights continue to operate as planned.”
The statement adds: “We’ve regrettably had to cancel some services at Heathrow.
“We’ve apologised to customers whose flights have been affected and offered them the option to rebook to an alternative flight with us or another carrier or request a refund.”
Many of the cancellations are to and from destinations with multiple frequencies, such as Dublin, Hamburg and Paris CDG, or serve domestic airports such a Manchester and Edinburgh where rail alternatives are available.
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…