British Airways expects full operations at London airports after IT collapse
British Airways said its IT systems are back up and a full flight schedule is planned Tuesday at London’s airports, where thousands of passengers were stranded because of the breakdown.
While the carrier toiled to find out exactly what went wrong, it apologized and said it was working to reunite travelers and their bags.
“We are extremely sorry for the frustration and inconvenience customers experienced over the Bank Holiday weekend and thank them for their patience and understanding,” British Airways said in a statement late Monday.
The airline earlier said that it does not have “a complete picture” of what caused the catastrophic IT outage that took down its systems in 170 airports across 70 different countries.
The impact of the incident, which began on Saturday, continued with a third day of disruption on Monday, a national holiday in the UK. At least 75,000 customers have been affected.
“At this stage we know there was an exceptional power surge that collapsed our IT systems, bringing down all our flight, baggage and customer communication systems,” said Alex Cruz, the CEO of British Airways, in a statement. “It appears to have been so strong that it rendered the back-up system ineffective.”
BA was forced to cancel Saturday flights out of London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports.
At Heathrow, short-haul flights continued to be affected Monday, with cancellations affecting flights to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Marseille, Vienna, Amsterdam, Milan and cities across the UK. Customers complained on social media that they were yet to be reunited with their luggage.
Cruz said: “At the moment, we do not have a complete picture of what happened. Our focus has been on putting things right for the customers affected. When that process is complete, we will hold an exhaustive investigation into the causes of this incident — and do whatever is necessary to ensure it cannot recur.”
Cruz said 95% of flights were back to normal by Monday and that two-thirds of customers will have flown to their destinations by the end of the day.
Earlier, he told Sky News that there is “no evidence that there was a cyberattack,” and no customer data was compromised.
Those who choose to change their travel dates can pick any alternative dates within the next six months. BA also promised to honor its obligations under EU compensation rules.
British Airways pledged to reunite bags with irked customers — though it cautioned it may take some time.
“Although we have already flown many bags to the correct airport, there is still some work to do and we know there are still significant numbers of customers who are yet to receive their luggage,” it said.