Published on Tuesday, May 30, 2017

BA crisis continues as passengers left without bags




British Airways' flight schedules are back to normal today but the three-day crisis over the Bank Holiday weekend is believed to have cost the airline up to £150 million.

It admitted that 75,000 passengers were affected when flights worldwide were grounded over the weekend due to an IT failure, which the airline blamed on a power surge at 9.30 on Saturday morning.

Chief executive Alex Cruz, who has faced calls for his resignation since Saturday, claimed that a back-up IT system failed to kick-in when the primary system crashed.

He told the BBC that the power failure had affected all its systems including baggage, flight and customer communication technology.

As a result, BA was forced to ground all flights from 170 airports in 70 countries on Saturday and many flights on Sunday and Monday too.

The crisis, which the GMB union has blamed the problem on technical staff being outsourced from the UK to India, caused the share price of BA's parent company IAG to fall 2.5%.

This morning, the airline said: "Our IT systems are now back up and running and we will be operating a full flight schedule at Heathrow and Gatwick."

However, it warned that many passengers had been forced to travel without their bags and it admitted that reuniting them might take a considerable time

Cruz said the hardware problem was restored 'after a few hours', and promised the company would 'make sure that it doesn't happen again'.

Cruz said there had been no redundancies or outsourcing of IT in this area, insisting there had been 'locally hired' staff attending to the maintenance and running of the infrastructure.

However, BA faced further criticism today when it was claimed that the airline was charging delayed passengers £800 to upgrade to spare seats in premium economy.

Some passengers also accused BA of profiting from their misery by charging a premium rate number for a claims hotline, although the airline said they were able to use an alternative 0800 freephone number.

Cruz has apologised to passengers in a statement in which he said:
"On behalf of all of us at British Airways, I want to apolgise for the fact that you've had to go through these very trying circumstances and to thank you for your patience and for your understanding."


He reassured passengers who had to return home without their bags, saying they would be sent by courrier.


Anyone affected can rebook for any time until the end of November or have a full refund.


On Monday, Cruz issued another statement saying the airline was carrying out an in-depth investigation into what went wrong but reassured customers it would not happen again.


 

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  • Nobody around to help

    As if the IT problem wasn't enough, my main complaint is that there was NOBODY from BA management to help the 100's of people..Help only came from Cabin Crew/Flight Deck stuck at the gates. There was NO system in place to help anyone..The "Management" disappeared once the problem unfolded..Shame on Cruz and Walsh..Should GO...

    By Martin Priestnall, Wednesday, June 7, 2017

  • Comment on Earlier Comment

    "Which", according to IAG Chairman, "had absolutely no connection with power outage and IT issues of the weekend."

    By Paul Tucker, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

  • POETIC JUSTICE

    they retrenched hundreds of experienced British IT staff and outsourced their IT to India.

    By ROD MURPHY, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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