British Airways forced to cancel dozens of Heathrow flights after fresh IT issue

25 May 2023, 22:49 | Updated: 26 May 2023, 02:53

It comes ahead of what is expected the airport's busiest travel day as holidaymakers look to getaway for the bank holiday weekend and half-term.
It comes ahead of what is expected the airport's busiest travel day as holidaymakers look to getaway for the bank holiday weekend and half-term. Picture: Alamy / Getty

By Chris Samuel

British Airways has apologised after it was forced to cancel dozens of flights in and out of Heathrow Airport due to a "technical issue", leaving thousands of passengers grounded.

Shortly before 9pm, the airport's live departures and arrivals website showed that 79 services had been axed.

“Our teams are working hard to resolve a technical issue that we’ve experienced this afternoon,” the airline said. “We apologise for the inconvenience and thank our customers for their patience.”

It's reported that the carrier is trying where possible to get customers rebooked on alternative services.

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It comes ahead of what is expected the airport's busiest travel day as holidaymakers look to getaway for the bank holiday weekend and half-term.

40.2C Hottest Ever UK Temperature Recorded At Heathrow London
40.2C Hottest Ever UK Temperature Recorded At Heathrow London. Picture: Getty

One passenger affected by the delays tweeted: "My daughter is stuck in Heathrow after already diverting to Iceland from Canada due to a medical emergency. She has not slept in 24 hours and cannot get on a flight back to Dublin."

Another said: "No one at @british_airways can tell us when our flight will leave. And if it does leave apparently it will leave without luggage."

Among the destinations affected from Heathrow are: Dublin, Vienna, Edinburgh, Dusseldorf, Rome, Venice, Milan, Hamburg, and Aberdeen, while the long-haul cancellations are: New York JFK, Boston, and Mumbai.

Recorded announcements at the airport told reportedly passengers whose flights were cancelled to book themselves into hotels to be reimbursed later.

Aerial view of planes parked up at Heathrow Terminal 5, 2014
Aerial view of planes parked up at Heathrow Terminal 5, 2014. Picture: Alamy

There were also delays for some BA flights at Gatwick.

The outage also briefly took BA's booking system offline, meaning many customers wren't able to check in for flights.

It comes after BA was hit by a major outage in 2017 that left 75,000 passengers stranded.

There were also delays resulting from an IT issue in February.

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Heathrow Airport said: “British Airways has suffered a technical issue which is impacting some British Airways departing and arriving flights.

"For the status of flights please contact either British Airways or your travel provider.”

BA and Heathrow Airport have been approached for further comment.

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