British Airways blames 'technical issue' as thousands face delays

Edmund HeaphyFinance and news reporter
British Airways aircraft at London's Heathrow Airport. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA via Getty
British Airways aircraft at London's Heathrow Airport. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA via Getty

British Airways on Thursday said a “technical issue” was responsible for delays that have affected thousands of its customers.

In a statement, the airline said that its teams were “working hard” to resolve the issue, noting that it had rebooked customers onto alternative flights and offered them hotel accommodation.

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“We are very sorry for the disruption to their travel plans,” the airline said.

The issue — ostensibly a computer system failure — appears to have affected a small number of British Airways aircraft overnight, causing knock-on delays to flights throughout the day.

British Airways has thus far declined to say how many flights or customers will be affected by the issue.

One passenger complained of a 22-hour delay on Twitter.

Another said that hundreds of customers were sitting at Los Angeles International Airport were waiting for information.

British Airways, which is owned by IAG (IAG.L), said it still planned to operate a “full flight schedule” on Thursday.

The latest debacle is just the latest in a series of glitches that have dented the airline’s reputation. Hundreds of flights were cancelled in 2017 as a result of a computer systems failure.

READ MORE: British Gas owner Centrica loses another 107,000 energy customers

In 2018, it emerged that hundreds of thousands of British Airways customers had their data harvested by hackers, after users were inadvertently redirected from the airline’s official website to a fraudulent one.

In July, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office fined the airline £183m for the breach.

And in August, another IT failure forced British Airways to cancel dozens of flights at three London Airports.

Separately, 2,000 flights were cancelled in September as a result of industrial action from flight crews — an incident IAG said was partly responsible for a 7% fall in operating profits in the three months to the end of September.

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