Steve Allen 4am - 7am
Passengers say they've been 'stranded' at Heathrow after BA IT glitch grounded flights
31 March 2022, 08:53
British Airways passengers say they've been left "stranded" at Heathrow Airport with flights two days away after an IT glitch grounded planes.
Listen to this article
Travel chaos continued at the London airport on Thursday morning following "technical issues" which left holidaymakers stuck in queues for hours on Wednesday evening.
A number of BA flights out of Terminal 5 were cancelled or rescheduled, with some passengers complaining of being "stranded" at the site with "silence" from the airline.
Michelle Heinrich, a student and translator from Germany who lives in Coventry, said there has been "silence and confusion" among passengers.
She said it will be two days before she is provided with a new flight, adding that she is now "stranded" in London after her evening flight was cancelled.
I was in a much better position as it was a local connecting flight and we had a visa... I can see many international passengers crying and stranded at Heathrow without knowing what to do next and couldn't get the luggages back.. @British_Airways this is not the first time..— Nithin Bharadwaj (@nithinbhar) March 31, 2022
"I'm stranded at Heathrow with no accommodation and a flight two days away. I've been given a food voucher but I'm not sure what's going to happen today," Ms Heinrich said.
"It's another day and night before I can fly. British Airways have not been communicating with us."
The chaos unfolded on Wednesday when passengers tried to check in and drop bags off as early as 2.40pm.
Ms Heinrich said when the gate number was due to be announced, passengers were instead told the flight was delayed by two hours. That time came and went.
At around 9pm, a gate number was finally announced but as passengers waited to board, they were told the flight had been cancelled.
@British_Airways stuck in Malta due to a cancellation, this has cost us over £250 for a room, £110 in an extra days parking at Heathrow. Will you cover these extra charges?— Ross Beer (@rossbeer81) March 31, 2022
She said BA staff did the "best they could" to assist passengers but seemed equally in the dark.
Nithin Bharadwaj wrote on Twitter that he waited close to six hours "without any answers" before they were forced to get a train instead of their connecting flight.
Mr Bharadwaj said: "I can see many international passengers crying and stranded at Heathrow without knowing what to do next and couldn't get the luggages back... @British_Airways this is not the first time.."
BA said the fault had affected its operation for "a short time" and was resolved shortly before 5.30pm on Wednesday, but the vast majority of flights on the airline's live tracker were shown as departing late or cancelled from 2pm to 9.30pm.
The airline apologised for the issue and said it "deeply regretted" being forced to cancel flights.
The issue is the latest to beset the airline in recent months.
Just last month, almost 500 flights were either cancelled or delayed globally due to IT failures, exacerbated by staff shortages.