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British Airways resumes flights from London after IT outage but many passengers still wait


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British Airways resumes flights from London after IT outage but many passengers still wait

By Guy Faulconbridge and Kylie MacLellan

REUTERS

 

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British Airways planes are seen at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London, Britain May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

 

LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways resumed some flights from Britain's two biggest airports on Sunday after a global computer system failure created chaos, but hundreds of passengers were still waiting for hours at London Heathrow.

 

BA said it aimed to operate the majority of services from Heathrow and a near normal schedule from Gatwick, the capital's second busiest airport. Heathrow, however, said it expected further delays and cancellations of BA flights.

 

At Heathrow's Terminal 5, where BA is the dominant carrier, hundreds of passengers were waiting in line on Sunday and flight arrival boards showed cancelled flights.

 

Some passengers were curled up under blankets on the floor or sleeping slumped on luggage trolleys. Several passengers complained about a lack of information from BA representatives at the airport. Others said their luggage had been lost.

 

"Many of our IT systems are back up today," BA Chairman and Chief Executive Alex Cruz said in a video posted on Twitter.

 

"All my British Airways colleagues on the ground and in the air are pulling out all the stops to get our operation back up to normal as quickly as we possibly can, we're not there yet."

 

Cruz said BA, part of Europe's largest airline group IAG, planned to fly all its long haul services from Heathrow on Sunday, although there would be delays due to the knock on impact from Saturday's disruption and some short haul flights would be cancelled.

 

He also asked passengers not to arrive at Heathrow too early, warning they would not be admitted into Terminal 5 until 90 minutes before their flight's scheduled departure time.

 

Gatwick and Heathrow also told passengers not to travel to the airports unless they were rebooked on other flights.

 

British Airways cancelled all its flights from Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, and Gatwick on Saturday after a power supply problem disrupted its flight operations worldwide and also hit its call centres and website. Cruz said there was no evidence of any cyber attack.

 

A spokeswoman for BA could not immediately detail the exact number of flights cancelled on Saturday.

 

CHAOS FOR PASSENGERS

 

Thousands of passengers queued for hours in departure halls at the airports on a particularly busy weekend. Monday is a public holiday and many children were starting a one-week school holiday.

 

Cruz said those who decided not to fly could rebook for dates until the end of November, or receive a full refund.

 

While British Airways could face a one-off financial hit from the cancellations, the risk to its reputation among customers could have a more damaging longer-term effect.

 

It is already facing declining customer ratings following unpopular decisions made as it faces competition from low-cost airlines. These include starting to charge for food on short haul flights last year to cut costs.

 

"There will be short term financial repercussions of this outage in terms of lost revenue, compensation for passengers and cost of alternative arrangements," said Kunal Kothari, UK All Cap equity analyst at Old Mutual Global Investors, one of IAG's top-10 shareholders.

 

"I do not, however, expect the outage to have lasting financial repercussions for the group."

 

Terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick became jammed with angry passengers, with confused BA staff unable to help as they had no access to their computers, according to passengers interviewed by Reuters.

 

Some passengers expressed frustration on Twitter over missing bags and long waits in telephone queues to speak to BA staff. BA said it had introduced more flexible rebooking policies for passengers affected.

 

While other airlines have been hit by computer problems, the scale and length of BA's troubles were unusual.

 

Delta Air Lines Inc cancelled hundreds of flights and delayed many others last August after an outage hit its computer systems.

 

Last month, Germany's Lufthansa and Air France suffered a global system outage which briefly prevented them from boarding passengers.

 

(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout and Neil Hall; Editing by David Stamp and Susan Fenton)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-05-29
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Seems a bit strange to me that a global network of this size is reliant on just one power supply, by losing this it effectively puts them in their current position.

 

Also, perhaps thinking too much into it, they seem to be dismissing (probably with good reason) cyber attack very quickly. 

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Whatever the problem was BA want to make very sure it never happens again. I only ever fly with them these days if there really is no other viable option. They have delayed me and lost my luggage too often for me to have the faith in them I had forty years ago.

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That it happened at the start of a holiday period seems too much of a coincidence. BA have outsourced IT to India, maybe one of the now redundant UK IT employees left them a leaving present.

 

Every single one of the passengers whose flights were cancelled is due 600 euros in compensation, how much will that cost? BA will plead:

"the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure."

I say good luck with that BA, not having a power back-up is a risk taken to save money and BA lost.

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If BA they don't give out exact details as to what caused this, then they shouldn't be surprised that people suspect a cyber-attack and cover-up. Multiple systems apparently went down simultaneously.

 

All too easy to imagine that an attack that takes out the national carrier for days would be hushed up - otherwise who would want to fly with them? It could ruin the airline, and perhaps that was the intention. Just as suspicious is the fact that the BBC et al are not questioning that it was an 'outage caused by a power failure', which even barely technical people can see is bs.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

Cruz said those who decided not to fly could rebook for dates until the end of November, or receive a full refund.

 

A full refund no end to their generosity. All the airlines in the news lately is getting to show them as the bloated lumbering beast they are. It also is a glaring example of the frailness of ITsystems worldwide. 

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

"There will be short term financial repercussions of this outage in terms of lost revenue, compensation for passengers and cost of alternative arrangements," said Kunal Kothari, UK All Cap equity analyst at Old Mutual Global Investors, one of IAG's top-10 shareholders.

I suspect that is wishful thinking...

 

Not much chance of off loading all their holdings tomorrow without making a big loss, the pension and other fund managers with substantial holdings in IAG will have no real option other than to ride out the storm, of coarse the have an interest to talk up BA/IAG.

 

Talk of BA having to cough up £100m+ I personally think the true figure of the cost to BA/IAG will be more closer to £1 billion, My biggest gripe is as a share holder and subscriber to many funds including "Old Mutual Global Investors" find that as a share holder in many companies our votes are out numbered by institutions and fund manager holding big blocks of votes, and vote in favour of outrageous remuneration packages for under preforming board members.   

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15 minutes ago, Thongkorn said:

Maybe outsourcing to India was not a good idea by a Spanish company, 

International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A., often shortened to IAG, is an Anglo-Spanish multinational airline holding company with its operational headquarters in London, England, United Kingdom .

 

Listed on the London and Madrid Stock Exchanges...

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Don't Blame Me...

I only get paid millions to run the company.

 

Quote

BA boss 'won't resign' over flight chaos

BA chief executive Alex Cruz says he will not resign and that flight disruption had nothing to do with cutting costs.

He told the BBC a power surge, had "only lasted a few minutes", but the back-up system had not worked properly.

He said the IT failure was not due to technical staff being outsourced from the UK to India.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40083778

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"BA chief executive Alex Cruz says he will not resign and that flight disruption had nothing to do with cutting costs."

 

Aye, right you are. Try looking at your customer reviews before this even happened. At best these days you are a bog standard carrier, and this is from a former fan of yours until the last time I flew... But go ahead and scrimp yourself out of the market if you want.

Nothing to do with cutting costs? Me ar$e.

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33 minutes ago, baboon said:

"BA chief executive Alex Cruz says he will not resign and that flight disruption had nothing to do with cutting costs."

 

Aye, right you are. Try looking at your customer reviews before this even happened. At best these days you are a bog standard carrier, and this is from a former fan of yours until the last time I flew... But go ahead and scrimp yourself out of the market if you want.

Nothing to do with cutting costs? Me ar$e.

Just read a very interesting article on Cruz...

Can Cruz keep control of BA?   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40082634

One can now understand why this guy has turned the British Flag Carrier into a budget Airline in just a few months...

Quote

At Vueling, Mr Cruz had proven he could compete with rival budget airlines such as Ryanair and within two months of taking over at BA, he announced plans to outsource its 900-strong technology department to India.

He tackled expense elsewhere by cutting complementary snacks and drinks on flights of five hours or less leaving passengers to buy Marks & Spencer's sandwiches and refreshments on board.

 

Not only that, they had similar problems at Vueling...

Quote

After he left Vueling, the airline experienced severe delays and flight cancellations that left thousands of passengers stranded and his successor, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, blamed him for the problems.

In an email to staff that was leaked in the Spanish press, Mr Sánchez-Prieto said: "I must say the first thing I encountered were some weaknesses in the planning of the operation" adding that many of the problems" stemmed from "an internal origin".

And..

Quote

It was reported Mr Cruz received no bonus for 2016, becoming the only senior member of management at IAG, not to be rewarded that year.

I wonder why???

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