British Airways flights experienced major outages Friday night after British Airways experienced what it called “significant technical issues” and its website and app were down, the company’s second flight disruption in 10 days. British Airways is facing serious technical problems that have forced the airline to cancel all short-haul flights from Heathrow Airport before noon GMT on Saturday.
While long-haul flights to Heathrow and all flights to Gatwick and London City Airport are expected to operate as planned, customers may experience some delays, according to British Airways. Passengers departing from Gatwick and London City Airport should also experience delays. British Airways said the current technical issues were due to a hardware problem and not a cyber attack.
British Airways passengers have criticized “total chaos” at London Heathrow Airport after all short-haul flights on Saturday morning were canceled due to a severe computer glitch. The issue has also caused flight delays, with passengers stranded on planes after landing at London Heathrow Airport and luggage piling up. People are discussing these issues on Twitter as crazed pilots claim some planes have been blocked.
Nearly 300 flights were canceled and 15,000 holidaymakers’ plans were disrupted by computer problems, some more than five hours behind schedule, reportedly affecting as many as 15,000 passengers. Southwest Airlines and SkyWest Airlines, which operate regional flights for several major airlines, were responsible for about a third of flight cancellations on Saturday.
British Airways confirmed that “technical issues” and outages experienced by the passengers were not caused by the cyberattack and passengers whose flights were canceled would be offered a refund or rebooking options. The issue is a hardware problem, not a cyberattack, British Airways said amid fears Russian hackers could try to disrupt British infrastructure in retaliation for the UK’s response to the invasion of Ukraine, widely condemned by Vladimir Putin.
BA and Virgin Atlantic began flights around Russian airspace on Friday after London and Moscow banned each other from flights in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Customers expected to fly later in the day have been advised to check the status of their flight on the British Airways website prior to arriving at Heathrow as the airline expects “further disruptions during the day”. The new booking means passengers departing from Heathrow can wait up to a week for their next flight, by which time they will have missed most, if not all, of their holiday.
Be sure to get written confirmation of your delay from the airport, as proof will be required by your insurance company. If your flight is completely canceled, it is unlikely that your insurance will protect you. A denied boarding policy means that the airline must offer you a refund for a canceled flight or redirect you to the next available flight or agreed date. Passengers departing from a European Union airport are protected by denied boarding rules.