Second day of disruption at Heathrow Airport as British Airways cancels dozens of flights

Travellers at Heathrow Airport in London continued to be at discomfort as British Airways cancelled 42 more flights on Friday (May 26) following Thursday’s disruption due to an IT problem. The airline said that the situation on Friday was a ‘knock on effect’ of the problem faced by the airline due to Thursday’s technical issue. According to BBC, some 16000 passengers have been affected due to the issue this time.

Most of the cancelled flights were domestic or were heading to destinations in Europe. However, other services have reportedly been affected and some passengers were not able to check-in online.

On Thursday, British Airways apologised for the disruption and said that majority of the flights were operating. The carrier also said that the affected customers had been contacted and were offered options of refund or a rebooking to an alternative flight with British Airways or another carrier.

On Friday, British Airways issued a statement.

“While the vast majority of our flights continue to operate today, we have cancelled some of our short-haul flights from Heathrow due to the knock-on effect of a technical issue that we experienced yesterday,” the airline said.

Independent reported that at least 150 flights had been cancelled.

The BBC quoted data from Cirium, a data firm. It said that 83 BA flights or about 8 per cent of its planned services on Friday were cancelled as of 8:00 BST. Cirium data said that on Thursday, BA cancelled 92 out of 860 scheduled flights.

British Airways spokesperson sought to maintain that only a small number of flights were affected.

According to data firm Cirium, 83 BA flights, or around 8% of its planned Friday services, were cancelled as of 08:00 BST. Cirium said that BA cancelled 92 flights on Thursday, out of 860 that were scheduled.

Passengers exasperated

“We were told to go to the flight cancellations desk to get assistance but there were thousands of people there and a few staff, most of the desks were empty,” said Gavin Lanoe, as quoted by BBC. Lanoe was stuck at Heathrow on Thursday.

Lanoe was eventually told that he could not rebook and was assured of reimbursement of 200 pounds in future.

He then reportedly booked ticket with another airline from Gatwick. In spite of assurance from BA that his luggage will be sent to Gatwick, it was still at Heathrow

“They’ve had enough IT failures now and they should be more practiced at dealing with them but they are not,” he told BBC.

The British airline has been affected by other IT problems in recent years including a major computer system failure in 2017 that stranded 75,000 passengers over a holiday weekend, sparking a public relations disaster and pledges from the carrier that it would do better in future.

(With inputs from agencies)

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