Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Heathrow left in chaos as British Airways experiences 'global IT failure'
30 March 2022, 16:09 | Updated: 30 March 2022, 20:57
British Airways flights out of Heathrow's Terminal 5 were affected by a "technical issue" on Wednesday.
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Mass disruption left holidaymakers stuck in queues for hours with flights grounded on Wednesday due to a reported IT system failure.
Customers were also said to have been unable to access boarding information at the airport.
Meanwhile, at least two flights were forced to divert mid-air from Heathrow to Gatwick - over 40 miles away.
In a statement, British Airways said: "We're investigating and working hard to resolve a technical issue and apologise for the inconvenience.
"We will provide further updates as quickly as possible."
In a tweet Heathrow later confirmed the issue had been resolved and it was working to help passengers whose journeys had been disrupted.
Passengers are still advised to check their flight status with @British_Airways before travelling to the airport due to a number of resulting cancellations. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. 2/2— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) March 30, 2022
British Airways flights were grounded on Wednesday afternoon, causing chaos in the London airport.
A Heathrow Airport spokesperson said: "We are aware of a technical issue affecting British Airways.
"We are working with our airline partner as they investigate and resolve the issue and we are on hand to support any passengers.
"Passengers are advised to check their flight status with British Airways before travelling to the airport, we apologise for any inconvenience caused."
Travellers shared photos online of backed up queues too, with crowds gathered at Terminal 5.
Brendan Dorian tweeted: "All Access to airside at Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport currently prohibited, telephone landlines also down… no one going anywhere."
Jeremy Blain tweeted that Terminal 2 also faced issues, saying it took over an hour to get through immigration, with technology down and sparsely manned passport control.
Mr Blain told LBC: "I was gobsmacked with what I saw in there today.
"[I] just can't help thinking of the first impression visitors get of our country. 'Underwhelming'.
"It's clearly an issue based on Heathrow's initial response highlighting my points."
What a mess!!! Thank goodness mine is a one way flight pic.twitter.com/ZVY1CMnaM6— Steve 🇬🇧🇪🇺🇦🇪 🇺🇦🏊🏼♂️ (@Stevieb0y) March 30, 2022
One traveller tweeted: "Long queues at Heathrow Airport T5 and British Airways. Also incredibly warm.
"What the hell is happening at UK airports? They seem a complete shambles."
Another person tweeted: "Maybe we weren't meant to leave Rome quite yet. On the tarmac and waiting #BAITMeltdown #BA #BritishAirways."
A third social media user listed everything that had gone wrong during their journey.
Problem 2 resolved, now onto issue number 3…. Due to problem 1 and 2, our flight plan was cancelled. Now pilot says he can’t get anyone to answer the phone (said that!), to get a new flight plan approved. @British_Airways never again. You have become a 3rd class airline.— Janis R🏴➡️🇺🇸☀️🧻 (@safetymom) March 30, 2022
Just last month, almost 500 flights were either cancelled or delayed globally due to IT failures, exacerbated by staff shortages.