British Airways found itself in trouble yesterday after facing serious IT issues. The carrier’s website could not be accessed and flights were delayed as staff could not access key information. Thankfully, the systems were back online later in the night and there have been no major issues since.
In a technical glitch yesterday, multiple British Airways systems were down for several hours. The services impacted include ba.com, online customer support, and some elements of flight operations. The exact time when the issue popped up is hard to pin down, they seem to have emerged in the early evening, around 18:00 UK time.
By 20:00, passengers had taken to Twitter to report the IT issues and the inability to access the BA website. This meant no flight could be booked, amended, or canceled during this period. However, according to Head For Points, the last two flights for the day, to Abuja and Newcastle, were both delayed due to software issues.
Considering the few flights operating out of London, not too many passengers were impacted by the sudden issues. However, for those looking for support, the absence of call center and online support as well might have been an issue. British Airways’ teams on Twitter recommended that travelers check-in directly at the airport for flights departing soon.
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By 22:00 local time, the issue seems to have been resolved and ba.com was functioning once again. BA’s support team on Twitter confirmed the technical issues and added an apology for any disruptions.
Sorry for the late reply. The website has been down for some time this evening, so apologies for the inconvenience. It should now be up and running. Neil
— British Airways (@British_Airways) June 27, 2021
While an IT issue like this could have impacted hundreds of flights in normal times, COVID-19 means that only a handful of passengers faced issues. Taking this as good news or bad news, but BA seems to have managed to dodge a huge PR debacle by getting its systems up and running within a few hours. The problem occurring in the evening also meant that only a handful of flights were left to depart London, reducing impacts on departures.
In a statement to Simple Flying, a British Airways spokesperson said,
“We experienced a temporary technical issue for a short time yesterday evening which is now resolved. Our flights continued to operate as planned.”
This isn’t the first time British Airways has run into issues in the last few years. In August 2019, the carrier was forced to cancel nearly 200 flights in total, as computer systems faced an outage in the morning. The issue was met with public fury and hundreds of millions in claims for compensation.
A similar issue occurred in 2017 when the carrier canceled all departing flights from Heathrow and Gatwick for a day. After facing repeated IT issues, the airline has been taking steps to prevent more. However, yesterday’s incident means there is still more time to go before BA is truly IT trouble-free.
The coming weeks will see BA once again work on its IT systems to prevent a similar issue in the future. As travel slowly bounces back, other carriers globally have seen similar issues. Southwest canceled 500 flights earlier in June following computer issues. For now, airlines globally will be hoping to avoid disruptions just when passengers get flying again.