British Airways has reported a problem with its computer systems at multiple airports on Monday night. By 8 p.m. EDT, there were already long queues and thousands of frustrated passengers at airports around the world.
The passengers complained of delays at check-in, the baggage drop and on the tarmac waiting for take-off, BBC reported. “We are sorry for the delay to your journey”.
There seem to be no cancellations so far, however.
British Airways is continuing to check people in at its London Heathrow hub, as well as at Gatwick, south of the city, though the process is taking longer than usual, spokeswoman Liza Ravenscroft said by e-mail.
BA passenger Dana Al-Qatami claimed she had been issued with a handwritten boarding pass before her flight between Switzerland and London today.
Pictures posted online show passengers stranded with their bags at check-in desks in major airports around the world including London Gatwick in the United Kingdom and Chicago O’Hare International Airport, San Francisco, Atlanta and Seattle in the US.
Analysts at RBC said the hold-ups – the second problem with the service this year – could damage the airline’s reputation.
The cause of the BA departures issue it due to an IT glitch after the check-in desks were upgraded, and so IT teams have been unable to resolve the issue just yet.
The glitch affecting BA follows the crippling power outage suffered by Delta Air Lines last month, although it doesn’t appear as severe.
On top of that, protesters from the Black Lives Matter U.K. movement gained access to the runway at London City Airport and locked themselves together there, blocking all flights at the airport.
Passengers said airline representatives had told them the system failure had been going on for hours and was worldwide.
Some passengers reported delays of up to five hours, with one in Denver complaining he had “been sat on the plane cooking” for “over 2 hours” and had been forced “to take my pants off in an effort to cool down”.