British Airways live news: Bank holiday travel chaos as BA cancels nearly 200 flights
UK: British Airways System Outage Sparks Chaos At Heathrow Airport
Thousands of people face having their bank holiday plans plunged into chaos, as British Airways was forced to cancel scores flights following an IT failure.
At least 175 flights, mainly domestic and European, have been cancelled so far on Thursday and Friday, The Independent calculates, as BA strusggles to operate without essential systems.
Given that many planes were fully booked at the start of the bank holiday weekend, the number of passengers affected is likely to top 25,000, with many more seriously delayed and encountering missed connections, on what was expected to be the busiest weekend since 2019.
Pointing to forecasts of above-average temperatures, motoring group RAC said it expected the bank holiday “to be a hectic period on major roads”, with drivers expected to make more than 19 million leisure trips over the last long weekend before August – the most since prior to the pandemic.
While analysts Inrix predict severe delays on the M25, M5, and M6, rail passengers face a bank holiday free of strike action, with very few major engineering works planned.
Situation at Heathrow ‘shocking’ says man who missed Hans Zimmer concert due to cancellation
One British man has described the situation at Heathrow as “absolutely shocking” as he and his wife missed out on seeing film composer Hans Zimmer perform in Berlin due to British Airways cancelling their flight.
Antony Knights, 44, said that when issues with the Berlin flight were communicated, “Terminal 5 turned into absolute chaos and pretty much everybody was queuing to speak to the desk, and there were only two members of BA staff on it and zero announcements.
“There were only two members of staff manning the queue, which was probably around 100 metres long. There were people everywhere needing assistance.
“It was pretty disappointing and frustrating. Things happen from time to time but this is not the first time British Airways systems have impacted people.”
Andy Gregory26 May 2023 17:56
Heathrow: British Airways delays build with many departures now close to midnight
Our travel correspondent Simon Calder reports:
Residents around London Heathrow airport are in for another noisy late night due to the unravelling schedules at British Airways.
Normally the latest scheduled passenger flights are at 10.40pm: Avianca to Bogota and Air China to Shanghai. But on Thursday night/Friday morning departures continued well into the 11pm hour, with one – to Edinburgh – taking off after midnight.
The 8.40pm from Heathrow to Oslo is currently scheduled to depart at 11.44pm on Friday, with several other flights around two hours late – including the 8.20pm to Prague. It is due to operated by an Airbus A319 that has not yet left Heathrow – but must fly to Budapest and back to London before returning to central Europe.
Andy Gregory26 May 2023 17:04
‘Occurrences like this are becoming all too familiar’
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, said: “The busy holiday season is only just beginning but already BA is breaking its promises to its customers that it would avoid a repeat of last year’s travel chaos, with thousands of passengers now finding themselves in holiday hell as a result of yet another IT disaster.
“Occurrences like this are becoming all too familiar. BA has a legal responsibility to refund or reroute any passenger caught up in the chaos, and travellers shouldn’t be shy about enforcing their rights.”
Andy Gregory26 May 2023 16:40
British Airways makes yet more cancellations as airline struggles to recover schedule – total nearing 200
British Airways has made a fresh wave of cancellations of early evening flights from London Heathrow as it struggles to recover from Thursday’s IT failure.
Within the past hour, five domestic flights – to Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle – have been grounded.
European destinations have also been hit, with early evening links to Venice, Prague, Stuttgart and Zurich among the fallers.
The latest round of cancellations brings the total of flights axed by the latest IT failure to nearly 200.
Simon Calder26 May 2023 16:18
BA cancellations: What are your rights?
Once again British Airways’ Heathrow operation is in disarray due to an IT failure.
You could just cancel and get a refund, but most people will want to travel despite the cancellation. There are three elements to BA’s obligation to you:
- A flight as soon as possible on any airline (or train) that can get you to your destination as close to the original schedule as possible. If British Airways is unable to find a seat on the same day, then it must search for a flight on a different airline.
- Meals and, if necessary, hotel accommodation as appropriate until you are on your way. British Airways is supposed to provide this care, but in practice during severe disruption many passengers fend for themselves and then claim back later.
- Cash compensation, which ranges between £220 and £520 per person, depending on the length of the flight. Under 1,500km: £220; 1,500-3,500km, £350; above 3,500km, £520. Because of the sheer number of passengers affected, payments are likely to take months rather than weeks.
Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has more details in this explainer:
Andy Gregory26 May 2023 15:50
The usual suspects: Edinburgh, Milan and Geneva top BA cancellation league table
Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has this exclusive analysis:
Passengers booked on British Airways between London Heathrow and Edinburgh have seen 10 cancellations in the past 24 hours as a result of the latest IT failure.
Out of a total of 23 flights each way between the Scottish capital and Heathrow on Thursday and Friday, 43 per cent were grounded.
One of the flights that did depart was so badly delayed that it took off from Heathrow on the wrong day. BA1440 was due out at 9.15pm on Thursday but eventually took off just after midnight on Friday, arriving in Edinburgh at 1am.
Milan also experienced 10 cancellations, but these were split between Linate (six) and Malpensa (four).
To Geneva, eight of the scheduled 23 flights were grounded – 31 per cent of the total.
Three airports have seen six cancellations each: Belfast City, Nice and Paris CDG.
When British Airways is obliged to ground large numbers of flights, it will usually aim for high-frequency routes.
However, some holiday flights with limited alternatives have been hit. One of three flights from Heathrow to Faro on the Portuguese Algarve, and one of four to Malaga on Spain’s Costa del Sol, were grounded on Friday.
Andy Gregory26 May 2023 15:22
Port of Dover says wait times for ferries improving
Things are going “according to plan” at the Port of Dover, authorities have said, as wait times for coaches and private cars were said to have reduced over the past few hours.
While cars and coaches were earlier said to face queues of 90 and 60 minutes respectively, that has now been shortened to wait times of 30 and 40 minutes.
Andy Gregory26 May 2023 14:57
Watch: Bank holiday weekend could bring hottest day of 2023 so far
Bank holiday weekend could bring hottest day of 2023 so far
Andy Gregory26 May 2023 14:20
British Airways Heathrow cancellations increase to 170
By noon, the number of “on-the-day” cancellations of British Airways short-haul flights to and from Heathrow had increased to 60 on Friday, reports our travel correspondent Simon Calder.
With 110 cancellations by BA on Thursday, and inbound to Heathrow on Friday morning, the fresh cancellations bring the total to 170.
BA cancelled multiple departures to and from key holiday destinations, including four flights between Heathrow and Athens and six to and from Nice.
Geneva and Milan also had six cancellations each. Edinburgh passengers have seen a dozen flights to and from Heathrow grounded in the past 24 hours.
BA must buy tickets on rival airlines for disrupted passengers to get them to their destinations on the same day as originally booked, if space is available. But at the start of the half-term week for many schools and the bank holiday weekend, few spare seats are available.
Andy Gregory26 May 2023 14:02
Full report: Heathrow chaos and snarled up roads mark start of biggest bank holiday rush since 2019
As millions of families begin half-term week, and many others start bank holiday weekend getaways, travel within and departing from the UK is looking tumultuous.
The AA has said that 17 million drivers will take to the roads, while British Airways has cancelled dozens more flights to and from London Heathrow, and the AA expects 17 million drivers to take to the
Even allowing for the cancelled flights, which are due to an IT issue, Friday is expected to be the busiest day for flying from the UK since before the Covid pandemic.
Read the full report here:
Simon Calder26 May 2023 13:43
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