Updated: Major Cancellations and Delays After British Airways System Issues

Aug 7, 2019

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Updated as of 4pm Wednesday 7th August 

British Airways is experiencing two major IT systems issues today causing flight cancellations and delays to and from most British Airways destinations. The airline has had similar issues in the past since it migrated most of its ground-staff systems to a newer system in late 2015.

Today’s issues actually stem from two systems covering online check-in as well as flight departures. Though the issue is not a global issue according to the airline, it is impacting flights to most destinations with cancellations to short-haul airports and delays to long-haul flights. The problems started on Wednesday morning and as of late afternoon, had not been resolved by the airline meaning check-in staff had to revert to manual check-in procedures. At one point, a large screen in Heathrow Terminal 5 advised passengers that short-haul check-in had been closed down and advised travellers to head home and contact British Airways though this was taken down again and the airline says check-in continues to take place.

BA’s three main London airports have been most significantly impacted with long queues at all check-in counters.

At London Heathrow (LHR), BA’s main hub, over 100 flights have been cancelled and almost all flights scheduled to depart before 4pm on Wednesday have either been cancelled, departed with delays or are still delayed. Given airlines run a tight-schedule with a complex jig-saw that requires crew and aircraft to be in right place at the right time, these delays will almost certainly have knock-in impacts on flights throughout the day and possibly into tomorrow with some flights for the remainder of the day already showing delays or cancellations.

Image taken from BA.com
Image taken from BA.com

At London Gatwick (LGW), the departure board is showing a similar sea of red though largely due to delays rather than cancellations. At time of publication, 5 services for this afternoon from LGW have already been cancelled (to Venice, Naples, Malaga, Glasgow and Jersey).

Similarly, London City airport (LCY) has seen no BA flight cancellations at time of publication but almost all flights until mid-day have or are departing late.

Any passengers due to travel with British Airways today or even Thursday should check the status of their flight and allow extra time at the airport. The airline is offering passengers due to fly on short-haul flights from LHR, LGW or LCY a refund or the chance to rebook to another day.

Given these are British Airways system issues that are within the airline’s control, passengers are likely to be covered under EU regulation for compensation.

We will keep this post updated as new developments take place.

Featured image by Ben Stansall / Gettys Images 

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