Thursday 21 November 2019 10:03 am

British Airways passengers face huge delays into Gatwick and Heathrow after 'technical issue'

British Airways warned customers that it is working hard to fix a “technical issue” this morning, as flight cancellations and delays hit thousands of people.

The airline said a small number of flights arriving at Gatwick and Heathrow airports are affected and that it is offering passengers “alternative arrangements”.

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People travelling from New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Boston and Beijing were hit by the IT failure, with BA rebooking passengers onto alternative flights.

It has also offered hotel accommodation for those who are left stranded overnight.

A BA spokesperson said: “Our teams are working hard to resolve a technical issue which has affected some of our flights, and we have rebooked customers onto alternative flights and offered hotel accommodation where they were unable to continue their journeys last night.

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

“We are advising customers to check for the latest flight information and to ensure that contact details are up to date on their booking, so that we can provide the latest information.”

Passengers across the globe have complained of British Airways flight delays.

IT professional Matthew Perry complained: “I would normally empathise with the @British_Airways IT team for a global failure like today, but I’m a passenger with a 22 hour delay, 13 hours from home.

“Personally, IT camaraderie doesn’t extend to these lengths.”

One passenger at New York’s JFK airport, simply pleaded with BA: “Please let us off the plane.”

Another Twitter user, Madeleine, complained she had been stuck for almost a whole day in Japan due to the IT glitch.

“23 hours extra in Japan because @British_Airways couldn’t provide flight plans!,” she tweeted.

Another passenger complained of being stuck on the runway at Las Vegas.

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“Been sat on the plane for 1 hour now on the ground at Las Vegas waiting to depart,” he said.

“No air con due to the ground unit not working. The heat is truly awful and sticky. No idea why we haven’t pushed back. It’s appalling way to treat a whole plane load of customers.”

BA has not yet revealed how many flights were hit by the incident, and what has caused the outage.

However, a source at the airline told Sky News staff have received a text message reading: “Due to a Flight Planning outage overnight, at point of departure flight crew will receive the flight plan for the departing flight only.”

Consumer magazine Which’s travel editor, Rory Boland, 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.”

The IT glitch is the latest in a series of technical errors for the airline. Over summer, tens of thousands of people faced flight disruption due to a computer failure.

Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports were the worst affected by the outage.

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