British Airways Forced To Cancel Hundreds Of Flights Due To Computer Crash

British Airways
People wait inside Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport as IT problems caused delays in London (Photo: Reuters / Henry Nicholls)

A computer glitch in the check-in and flight start systems has resulted in the cancellation of over 100 British Airways flights. On Wednesday, the UK-based airline announced that its computer system had crashed resulting in the cancellation of flights that stranded an estimated 15,000 passengers.

 The cancellation mainly affected travelers who were meant to board British Airways flights in London's Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport in West Sussex. Apart from the more than 100 flights that were canceled, an additional 300 flights were facing delays of up to an hour.

The majority of the flights that were affected by the computer outage were flights leaving from Heathrow airport going to Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Charlotte.

The canceled flights caused several frustrated passengers to post their experience on social media. Passengers posted photos of airport terminals filled with stranded travelers.

The computer crash and flight cancelations come just a day after British Airways had to evacuate passengers off one of its flights from London to Spain. Passengers were immediately evacuated on the flight after smoke suddenly filled the cabin just as the plane was about to land.

The airline, which is owned by International Airlines Group, did not detail the nature of the computer crash. The company only stated that it was mainly a problem within their check-in and flight start systems. British Airways revealed that it had to resort to back up manual systems in order to let some of the planes continue on to their destinations.

A British Airways spokesperson mentioned in an interview that the company will be allowing customers of canceled flights to rebook between August 8 and August 13. Passengers who were affected by the cancelations were advised to visit the company website or one of their outlets to get more information.

The airline also issued a public apology to customers who were affected by the outage. British Airways has confirmed that it had already fixed the problem and that its flight operations were now back to normal. However, the airline did warn that there could be some "knock-on operational disruptions."

The latest incident isn't the first time the airline had experienced such a catastrophic computer crash. In 2017, the airline experienced a somewhat larger computer system crash, one that had stranded close to 75,000 passengers.

During that time, British Airways explained that it was facing a "major IT systems failure." The crash caused severe service disruptions to the company's flight operations not just in London but also throughout its global fleet.

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