Frustration over British Airways delays caused by ‘technical issue’

British Airways passengers have expressed their frustration after hundreds of flights were disrupted due to a “technical issue”.

Aircraft around the world were grounded for several hours due to the glitch.

Some 97 flights to and from Heathrow were more than 45 minutes late, and two were cancelled.

A further 17 Gatwick flights were also delayed by the same length of time.

Stephanie Donovan’s flight from the US city of Orlando to Gatwick on Wednesday night was delayed by four hours after the pilot told passengers he was unable to access his flight plan due to the system failure.

She told the PA news agency that “nothing seemed to be communicated very well” and claimed British Airways “tried to keep it quiet regarding refreshment vouchers which people were entitled to”.

She added: “Most people we spoke to were flying with BA for the first time and we have all said we wouldn’t fly with them again.”

Ross Midlane was due to fly from Gatwick to Orlando but woke up on Thursday morning to learn his flight was cancelled.

He said “the information was poor” and there was “no explanation” about why the aircraft was grounded.

British Airways initially switched him to a flight from Heathrow, but as he was preparing to catch a bus to the west London airport he was re-booked onto a Virgin Atlantic flight from Gatwick.

“The guy on customer service was excellent and really fast and helpful,” he said. “Just glad to have a seat.”

The most delayed Heathrow arrivals were from Pittsburgh, USA and Beijing, China. Both were more than 12 hours behind schedule.

A spokeswoman for British Airways said: “Our teams are working hard to resolve a technical issue which is affecting some of our flights, and we have rebooked customers on to alternative flights and offered hotel accommodation where they have been unable to continue their journeys last night.

“We are very sorry for the disruption to their travel plans.

“We plan to operate a full flight schedule today.”

Customers were urged to check for latest flight information.

The airline has suffered a series of systems failures in recent months.

In August, an IT glitch caused the cancellation of more than 100 flights and disrupted the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel magazine, said: “This is the latest in a long line of British Airways technical glitches causing delays and cancellations and yet again it’s thousands of passengers who are paying the price – left tired, frustrated and with a lack of information and assistance from the airline.

“BA must do the right thing and reroute passengers as quickly as possible, using other airlines where necessary, as well as informing customers facing disruption about their entitlement to compensation.”