31 May, 2017
British Airways said it has restored full service out of Heathrow and Gatwick Airports today (May 30) following a massive wave of flight cancelations and disruptions caused by a computer system failure.
Independent aviation analyst Howard Wheeldon said: "While the cost of reputational damage to British Airways is incalculable at this stage it will be considerable".
This had affected "all the operating of our systems - baggage, operations, power processing, he added".
"Although we have already flown many bags to the correct airport, there is still some work to do and we know there are still significant numbers of customers who are yet to receive their luggage, " it said.
A statement on BA's website said: 'We apologise again for the frustration and inconvenience you are experiencing and thank you for your continued patience'.
Terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick became jammed with angry passengers, with confused BA staff unable to help as they had no access to their computers.
Apparently, CEO Alex Cruz had embarked on a widely criticized four-year cost-cutting program at the airline last year and this had necessitated slashing around 700 back-office jobs and outsourcing some technology to India's Tata Consultancy Services.
Flight delay firm Bott & Co said BA could face a bill of £150 million in passenger compensation.
Shares in British Airways' parent company tumbled Tuesday after a catastrophic IT failure stranded thousands of passengers during a long holiday weekend. "BA in 2016 made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India".
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Coby Benson, Flight Delay Legal Manager at Bott & Co, said: "British Airways have had several IT glitches over the last couple of years but nothing quite on the scale of this latest crisis".
The airline has also said it will meet its obligations under passenger-rights regulations.
IAG shares plunge amid fears for airline's reputation after IT failure stranded 75,000 passengers on busy holiday weekend, The Guardian reported.
Cruz also said that no passengers' data had been compromised and that there was no evidence that it was due to a cyber attack.
"We will have completed an exhaustive investigation on exactly the reasons of why this happened", Cruz said.
Cruz begged travelers not to show up too early, and to double-check first that their flight was actually going to happen, as Heathrow was simply too crowded with people to accommodate more.
Under EU legislation, passengers who are delayed more than three hours because of the airlines own causes-like IT breakdowns-must each be compensated by €250 on flights of up to 1,500 kilometers, €400 for up to 3,000 kilometers and €600 for long-haul flights delayed by more than four hours.
Passengers, some of whom had spent the night at London's Heathrow Airport, faced frustrating waits to learn if and when they could fly out.