The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

BA’s IT glitch causes second day of holiday misery for thousands

- By Jack Simpson

THOUSANDS of families’ half term plans have been hit by cancellati­ons as the IT glitch that halted British Airways flights caused chaos for a second day.

On Thursday, more than 90 flights from Heathrow were cancelled by the airline after an IT outage caused its website and booking system to crash for a number of hours.

The cancellati­ons, which affected around 16,000 passengers, also led to a number of flights being delayed.

BA later said its systems were back up and running but more flights would be cancelled yesterday as a knock-on impact from the IT glitch. Aviation analytics firm Cirium reported that 83 flights had been cancelled already.

Travellers attempting to get to mainland Europe by ferry also faced delays earlier in the day as high levels of traffic to the Port of Dover, meant some drivers were forced to wait two hours to access the port.

There were also saw a number of large traffic ailbacks as more than three million cars took to the roads for trips yesterday.

The Telegraph spoke to several BA passengers whose flights were cancelled.

Luisa Abraham, who was returning to Germany after a trip in the UK, was left stranded in a hotel at Heathrow last night after being alerted by BA that her flight to Berlin had been cancelled just 45 minutes before its departure time.

She said: “I was stuck in Heathrow. I decided to book on a flight with Lufthansa to get to Germany as soon as possible.

“I’ve had a look today and the earliest possible flight you can get would be Sunday, I would have been stuck here all weekend. It’s my last flight ever with BA.”

Alan Moss said he was made aware that his flight had been cancelled only on arriving at the airport. He described chaos at the terminal, with BA staff members advising passengers to “go home, or sort it out online”.

Mr Moss, who was travelling back for a family get together in Dublin, was eventually told that BA would pay for a hotel for him, with expense up to £200.

He told The Telegraph: “Unfortunat­ely, there were no hotels in Heathrow and the next available flight the BA app could rebook me onto was 48 hours away. I accepted my fate and returned home.”

BA apologised about the inconvenie­nce caused and said that the majority of flights cancelled were “multiple frequency”, so passengers could be rebooked on alternativ­e services.

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