British Airways IT Systems Glitch Causes Bank Holiday Flight Chaos

Long queues of frustrated passengers trailed all the way through BA's dedicated London Heathrow Terminal 5 on the landside and out onto the forecourt, with similar scenes at London Gatwick - in addition to the mayhem caused at "overseas" airports where BA passengers were also stranded.

Shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) dropped sharply after London market's opened after a long weekend where the meltdown of British Airways' computer systems left 75,000 holidaymakers stranded in airports and the airline facing a chunky compensation bill.

Flight compensation website Flightright.com said that with around 800 flights canceled at Gatwick and Heathrow on Saturday and Sunday, BA was looking at having to pay around 61 million euros ($68 million) in compensation under European Union rules.

As stated by British Airways, the IT systems are now "back up and running" and the airline aims to operate the majority of flights departing from Heathrow Airport and attain an nearly normal schedule at Gatwick Airport.

The BA website offers an apology, saying: "We are continuing to make good progress in reuniting bags with customers around the world who were affected by the major IT systems failure on Saturday".

Yet the airline confirmed a "significant number of customers" were still to receive their luggage after the disruption.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SEN), which manage the electricity distribution network in the area north of Heathrow where British Airways' headquarters are located, said its services were running as normal on Saturday morning.

Affected passengers have told GBC they have been rebooked on flights over the next two days, as the backlog caused by BA is still noticeable.

The GMB union said that BA's IT systems had shortcomings after they made a number of staff redundant and shifted their work to India in 2016.

But BA denied that this was the reason.

Under EU rules, BA may have to pay more than £100 million (about $128 million U.S.) in passenger compensation, The Guardian reports.

Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, advised affected BA passengers not to travel to the airport unless their flights had been rebooked, or were scheduled to take off on Monday.

He concluded: "We are absolutely committed to finding the root causes of this particular event and we will make sure nothing like this happens to British Airways ever again".

The British flag carrier has said the problem was caused by a power supply issue at one of its United Kingdom data centers.

The airline said: "If we weren't able to offer a suitable alternative flight we would offer a full refund of any unused sectors on your booking with us, but any alternative flights booked via different carriers would be at your own expense and would have to be claimed back through travel insurance". Those sites housed 500 data cabinets in six halls according to Sunbird, the company that supplied the airline's DCIM (data center infrastructure management) system.

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