British Airways has suffered a global IT system failure so serious that it had to cancelled all its flights out of London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports before 6PM local time on Saturday. Some parts of BA’s website and check-in features were unavailable, too, and passengers on London-bound BA flights also faced delays. They frequently can’t even book new flights to make up for the old ones.
It’s not certain what triggered the outage while sources state that it could be a massive power failure, but BA says it has not seen evidence of an attack on its network.
It’s a bank holiday weekend in the UK, so the terminals were chock full of travelers hoping to visit friends and family. While many of them will get compensation, that’s not much comfort given the timing.
And this is a problematic situation for British Airways as this would be the sixth major crash for its recently installed IT system in a year, and the timing makes it one of the highest-profile incidents to date. It suggests there’s something fundamentally flawed with its newer IT infrastructure, and that there’s no simple fix. It also underscores the importance of reliability for transportation technology. Even a relatively rare crash bug can become a serious headache if it tarnishes an airline’s reputation and results in expensive payouts to angry travelers.
— British Airways (@British_Airways) May 28, 2017
— British Airways (@British_Airways) May 27, 2017
— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) May 27, 2017