British Airways cancels, delays hundreds of flights after computer glitch

A computer glitch delayed or canceled hundreds of British Airways flights Wednesday morning affecting more than 15,000 passengers.

British Airways canceled and delayed hundreds of flight Wednesday after a computer glitch took down the check-in system. Photo by Molly Riley

The online check-in system crashed, forcing British Airways to cancel 117 flights at Heathrow Airport alone. More than 300 flights have been delayed up to five hours. The company posted a statement to Twitter apologizing for the inconvenience. It’s not a global outage, but with so many planes out of position in Britain, flights in other parts of the world are affected, including the United States.

“We are very sorry to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans,” British Airways said. “We are working as quickly as possible to resolve a systemwide issue which has resulted in a number of cancellations and delays today.”

Customers on short-haul flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City can rebook their flights for another day. Others are advised to check for the latest flight information.

Traveler Sarah Daman said her flight from London to Athens, Greece, was canceled and no one at the help desk was able to give her answers. It was going to be her first trip in 14 years.

“No one here can help, phone and website not working PLEASE tell me what I can do to stop this much anticipated summer holiday being ruined,” Daman tweeted.

Daman told Sky News that she was offered a flight on Friday but that would make her vacation too short.

“It is just so horribly depressingly awful,” she told Sky News. “We are trying to rebook with a different airline which might mean eight hours at Munich Airport but at least that would get us there tomorrow.”

The European Union requires airlines to compensate passengers for cancellations, and this outage could cost British Airways more than $9.7 million.

This comes one day after a “technical glitch” caused a British Airways flight to fill with smoke and make an emergency landing in Spain. Three people were sent to the hospital but were released. All the passengers and crew escaped safely.

ByNicholas Sakelaris