BA Delays: Technical Issue Leaves Passengers Stranded For Up To 22 Hours

British Airways has had a nightmare start to its Thursday operations, as an overnight technical issue has caused delays of as long as 22 hours on some flights. Passengers report being unable to contact the airline for help overnight. While it seems that the issue is well on its way to being resolved, the airline notes that some residual delays may remain in its network throughout Thursday.

British Airways Delays
BA passengers have been hit with lengthy delays due to a technical issue. Photo: Tom Boon/Simple Flying

Delayed by up to 22 hours

British Airways just can’t get a break. After a difficult summer mired by an IT glitch and a two day walkout of its pilots, the airline is now facing another PR crisis as an overnight ‘technical issue’ caused major delays to hundreds of its flights.

The issue was first being reported in the early hours of Thursday morning as angry passengers took to Twitter to complain about delays and flight cancellations. BA supplied each passenger with similar responses.

By daybreak, Twitter was awash with complaints to the airline. Some passengers reported facing delays for as long as 22 hours. Many expressed frustration at their inability to communicate with BA during their delays, with one customer telling Sky News,

“My flight back from Orlando tonight was cancelled 2 hours ago BA2036 ten minutes after their helpline closed. Sat here at 2:20am not knowing anything. No one willing to help until 7:30GMT when the line reopens.”

No details have been given by the airline in regards to how many flights are affected or the reason behind the delays. However, Sky News reports that the issue was due to a Flight Planning outage overnight, saying that a source told them a text message was sent out saying,

“Due to a Flight Planning outage overnight, at point of departure flight crew will receive the flight plan for the departing flight only.”

A series of unfortunate events

This is the latest in a series of troubles for the UK flag carrier. Earlier this year, BA faced the most extensive industrial dispute in its history, as its pilots went on strike for two solid days. More than 2,000 flights were canceled as a result.

British Airways Delays
It’s the latest in a series of problems for the UK carrier. Photo: Tom Boon/Simple Flying

Earlier in the year, an IT issue forced the airline to cancel some flights, and in 2018, its website was hit by a data breach, compromising personal information of thousands of its customers. 2017 too saw IT problems, as an outage of its computer system saw 75,000 passengers affected over the May bank holiday, costing the airline around £53m ($68m).

Last month, BA’s parent company IAG revealed a 6.9% fall in profits during the third quarter, something which the company attributed largely to the BA strikes. IAG said that the two-day pilot walkout had left a hole in its earnings of some €155m ($171).

Issue resolved?

Although it’s unclear exactly what the issue was that caused the delays, things seem to be getting back to normal at BA. The airline provided Simple Flying with the following statement:

“We plan to operate a full flight schedule today.

“There may be some knock-on delays to flights and we are advising customers to check for the latest flight information.

“​We are sorry for the disruption to customers who have been affected.”

British Airways Delays
Some residual delays are likely to remain in the network throughout Thursday. Photo: Tom Boon/Simple Flying

This sounds very much as if BA has resolved the issue and is now simply dealing with a backlog of issues as delayed flights create a domino effect throughout its network. Checking on Twitter, and the airline seems similarly upbeat in its message to customers.

It sounds like things will be all back to normal for BA pretty soon. However, that doesn’t stop the headlines from shrieking the bad news around the world. As the second IT issue in less than six months, it’s looking like IAG may need to budget for a systems upgrade for BA in the near future.

Were you affected by the delays? Let us know in the comments.