Matthew HughesFormer TNW Reporter
Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.
There’s travel chaos this bank holiday weekend, after British Airways canceled hundreds of flights as a result of a major IT systems outage.
The issue, which the airline has described as a “major IT system failure” and a “global system outage, has caused “severe disruption” to British Airways’ worldwide operations. Passengers are unable to check in, and parts of the British Airways website is down.
Hundreds of passengers are also sat on the tarmac, as outbound aircraft are unable to vacate gates.
The airline has suspended all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick until 18:00 BST today.
It’s not immediately clear what is the cause of the outage. Several passengers have reported hearing that the issue is due to a “cyber attack.”
BA staff just told us his could be a big cyber attack 'everything is down' she said #britishairways. It's a mess here at @HeathrowAirport
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) May 27, 2017
Breaking News.#britishairways is under cyber attack, LBC is reporting it is a cyber attack while BBC is reporting it as a computer crash.
— Ihtisham ul Haq (@iihtishamm) May 27, 2017
According to Sky News, the airline has denied this, saying that there’s “no evidence that it’s a cyber attack”.
British Airways says "we've found no evidence that it's a cyber attack" after cancelling Heathrow and Gatwick flights before 6pm
— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) May 27, 2017
On its official Twitter page, the airline apologized for the disruption, and promised to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
We apologise for the current IT systems outage. We are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
— British Airways (@British_Airways) May 27, 2017
Angry passengers have also taken to Twitter, in order to complain about delays and cancellations to their flights, and issues with checking-in.
Radical and disruptive new BA strategy: a Brooklyn-style "back to paper" with no phones or check-in systems working at Heathrow. pic.twitter.com/FO8JFpynuk
— #JeSuisNutjob (@ProfJeffJarviss) May 27, 2017
BA flight cancelled. Am devastated not to make it to the Edinburgh Marathon that I've trained all year for! @British_Airways #Heathrow
— Wild Way Round (@wildwayround) May 27, 2017
Dear @British_Airways, perhaps it's time to reinvest all that money you aren't spending on tea and sandwiches on technology #sleeplessinkiev
— Tom beckett (@TomBeckett) May 27, 2017
@British_Airways please can you tell me if you have any news on the BA474 to barcelona? Cruise wont wait??
— Catherine Ward (@_catherineward_) May 27, 2017
A similar computer outage with American airline Delta’s systems caused chaos last August, with tens of thousands of passengers stranded. Delta eventually made things right with their passengers. It remains to see what British Airways will do for those passengers that have had their vacations and travel plans disrupted.
UPDATE: BA flights from Gatwick and Heathrow have been canceled for the rest of today.
British Airways cancels all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick for the rest of Saturday after computer failure https://t.co/DfPOb7TVKx
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) May 27, 2017
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.