British Airways line at Heathrow, Tuesday, September 6, 2016
British Airways has apologised to passengers facing delays after an IT glitch affected check-in desks.
Passengers complained of delays at check-in and at the baggage drop, and on the tarmac waiting for take-off.
“We are sorry for the delay to their journeys,” BA added.
There was further disruption for passengers at London City Airport on Tuesday after, police said, protesters “locked themselves together” on the runway.
BA encouraged customers affected by the IT problems to check in online before they reached the airport. It told customers that some flights had been cancelled on Monday “due to operational reasons” but that specialists were “working to resolve this issue”.
Hand written boarding pass — Photo by DANA AL-QATAMI
One passenger, Dana Al-Qatami, who was flying from Switzerland to London, was issued with a handwritten boarding pass on Tuesday morning.
Dana, alongside another Twitter user, Susan Stewart, said the delays continued once on the plane.
Ms Stewart, a director at the Open University in Scotland, tweeted: “Dear @British_Airways, could you turn the wifi BA 2953 please so we can work whilst stuck here on tarmac? (or let us off?)”.
Liv Boeree, a professional poker player from London, told the BBC she had queued for a flight in Las Vegas for two and a half hours.
“It’s now midnight and we are boarding. Check-in was long and slow. The staff handled it very well,” she said.
“My boarding pass was filled out by hand. Even had a hand-written hand baggage label. Staff were updating us well – The staff… were excellent. The pilot said the delays were due to a computer glitch and apologised profusely.”
On Monday customers in the US and Canada reported delays at several airports due to IT problems.
People flying from San Francisco, Washington DC and Atlanta reported long delays on social media.
Twitter user John Bevir wrote: “Huge computer issue affecting British Airways across USA. Friend at #Dulles [Washington airport] tells me pilots by gate but passengers still trying to check in!”.
Ewan Crawford, of Glasgow, said he was at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. He tweeted: “Never a good sign when they deliver water to the gate! Waiting at ORD for @British-Airways 296. Worldwide computer outage apparently! Hmm.”
Matthew Walker, a financial analyst from London, waited for more than two hours to board his flight to Heathrow.
Though he had already checked in online, he said that BA staff could not access their computers to see which passengers had gone through security.
He said: “People were lining up, some had already checked in and got through security, but others, when this thing happened, whatever it is, were stuck in the check-in queue.
“So they (the staff) have the problem that they didn’t know who had already gone through the gate because all the systems literally just had a meltdown.”
In July, British Airways apologised to passengers who faced long delays at check-in at Heathrow and Gatwick.
The airline was upgrading its check-in system and problems led to lengthy queues on one of the busiest days of the year for the airports.
British Airways computer failures cause ‘worldwide’ passenger misery
From The Telegraph
6 SEPTEMBER 2016 • 9:56AM
British Airways has apologised to passengers for delays after an IT glitch hit check-in systems.
Angry travellers complained of hours queuing at airports and some reported they had been told the problem was worldwide.
Responding to passengers on Twitter, the airline wrote: “We apologise to our customers for the delay and we appreciate their patience as our IT teams work to resolve this issue.”
People queuing at Seattle Tacoma International Airport in the United States following an IT glitch affecting British Airways check-in system CREDIT: PA
It added: “Our colleagues are doing everything possible to check in customers for their journey.”
One man stranded at Seattle airport, Matthew Walker, said some passengers were in the check-in queue at the time of the IT “meltdown”, and staff were unable to check who had gone through security. He said staff were writing manual boarding passes for passengers.
British Airways — Angry travellers have complained of queuing for hours at airports but the airline said it is not a worldwide problem. CREDIT PA
“People were lining up, some had already checked in and got through security, but others, when this thing happened, whatever it is, were stuck in the check-in queue,” said the 29-year-old financial analyst, who had been waiting more than two hours to board his flight back to Heathrow.
People queuing at Seattle Tacoma International Airport in the United States following an IT glitch affecting British Airways check-in system
“So they (the staff) have the problem that they didn’t know who had already gone through the gate because all the systems literally just had a meltdown, basically.”
One passenger at Toronto Airport said: “I guess the check in application is down and it’s world wide.”
Ewan Crawford, of Glasgow, said he was at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
He tweeted: “Never a good sign when they deliver water to the gate! Waiting at ORD for @British-Airways 296. Worldwide computer outage apparently! Hmm.”
The airline denied the technical problems were a worldwide problem.
A spokesman confirmed passengers are being checked in at Heathrow and Gatwick but said the process would be “a bit slower than usual”.
The airline also apologised after a glitch in its new check-in system caused delays back in June. The system was first installed at airports across the world in October last year, and the roll-out was completed earlier in 2016.
Another woman, Anna Hewson, said she had been waiting three hours to pick up her bags in Colorado, USA.
Advice Travellers affected by BA check-in delays
What are the rules if my BA flight is delayed?
If you are delayed for two hours or more you are entitled to care and compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. The airline must provide food and drink appropriate to the time of day (this is often in the form of a voucher) and a means of communicating your delay or a refund of the cost of essential calls. For overnight delays, the airline must provide hotel accommodation and transport to reach it – or to return home. Keep all receipts.
What compensation am I entitled to?
If the computer glitch is deemed to be the responsibility of the airline (and it is hard to see how it won’t be) for delays of three hours or more you are entitled to:
€250 (£210) for short flights
€400 (£340) for a flight distance of 1,500-3,500km
For flights of over 3,500km you should receive €300 (£260) for a delay of 3-4 hours; €600 (£510) for more than four hours
Can I claim if a delay means I miss a connecting flight?
Yes, if all the flights are made under the same booking reference and the connection is made at an EU airport.
What about travel insurance for delays?
Your policy will probably offer compensation for a delay, though in most cases, it is likely to be a derisory amount – say £20 – and even then it is only available after an extremely long delay – typically of 12 hours or more.
What if my flight is cancelled?
When a flight with an EU airline or from an EU airport is cancelled at the last minute, the airline must pay for a hotel and subsistence for all those stranded until a replacement flight is provided.
What about other arrangements I have paid for?
If you have booked a hire car, a hotel, a villa or other accommodation independently of your flight, and you are delayed or unable to travel, the airline is not liable for any losses you may incur.
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