BA computer woes leave flights cancelled and passengers stranded

Update: British Airways says its computer systems and flight schedules are getting back to normal after a massive IT failure caused severe travel disruption on Saturday May 27.

Heathrow and Gatwick airports were the worst affected, with all flights in and out of the London airports cancelled for the day. BA says a power supply issue was to blame for the meltdown, though hasn't been any more specific than that.

As of Sunday May 28, BA said it was "aiming to operate a near normal schedule of flights from Gatwick and the majority of our Heathrow services on Sunday". However it urged passengers not to travel unless their flight was confirmed and to check for the latest updates.

Our original story is below...

If you're trying to take off on a British Airways flight from London today then you might not be in the best of moods - a serious computer malfunction has left planes on the tarmac, with all flights from Gatwick and Heathrow cancelled for the day.

"We apologise for the current IT systems outage," the airline said via its Twitter page. "We are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible." If BA provides any more updates, then we'll keep you in the loop on this page.

The BBC reports that the issue is affecting the BA website and its mobile apps, as well as the systems that keep flights running at the airport. Some staff have had to resort to using good old white boards to get information out to passengers.

Rescheduling and refunds

Whatever the problem is, it looks like it's knocked out BA's computer systems across the globe. A spokesperson for the airline told the BBC that it doesn't appear at this stage to be related to any kind of cyberattack.

Flights from other airlines are running in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick as normal for the time being, so if you're taking off for the bank holiday weekend or half term then your best bet is to check for updates straight from the company you've booked with.

BA says affected passengers will be offered a rescheduled flight or a refund, though judging by the amount of ire being shown on social media at the moment, that might not be enough. Details on the computer downtime are scarce at the moment, but when we hear more, we'll let you know.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.