Scenes of chaos at Heathrow and Gatwick as British Airways cancels flights due to computer problems
British Airways has cancelled all flights from Gatwick and Heathrow as computer problems cause disruption worldwide.
Passengers have been told not to travel to the London airports because of “extreme congestion” at the terminals, with all BA planes cancelled for the day because of a “major IT system failure”.
Pictures and videos on social media show long queues at the check-in counters.
It comes as scores of Britons headed overseas for the long weekend and half-term school holidays on Saturday morning.
Heathrow said it has posted extra staff at the terminals and warned BA passengers on flights not to go to the airport.
Several passengers at Heathrow told the Press Association they had not been informed their flights had been cancelled until more than an hour after the airline put out a press statement announcing the decision.
Footage filmed at Terminal 5 showed long queues at customer services after passengers had been advised they would be unable to rebook due to systems remaining down.
Student Emily Wilson told the Press Association she had been advised “we are unable to get bags, and that no more flights are taking off”, several hours after arriving at the airport for her flight to Stockholm.
Wilson added: “We were told (it would be) about three hours for collecting bags, that all compensation will have to be done online, and that we are unable to rebook flights now because of the system being down.”
A spokeswoman for the airline said: “We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide.
“We’ve found no evidence that it’s a cyber attack.
“The terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested and we have cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick.
“We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this is causing our customers and we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
The latest problem also meant parts of BA’s website were unavailable and some travellers were unable to check-in on the mobile app.
This comes after passengers at Gatwick Airport faced chaotic scenes and long queues due to a baggage system problem on Friday.
Those taking flights were forced to travel without their hold bags and were asked to carry any essential items in their hand luggage.