Images posted on social media showed long queues of holidaymakers, as well as error messages on the BA app.
Departures and check-ins are affected
The airline confirmed that a “systems issue” was affecting check-in and departures at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports. These are the only airports affected, as it is not a global IT outage.
A total of 86 flights have been cancelled from BA’s main flight base at Heathrow, including ones to Athens, Istanbul, Amsterdam, St Petersburg, Split and Venice. Internal flights that have been cancelled include connections to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Meanwhile, from Gatwick, round-trips to Glasgow, Jersey, Malaga, Naples and Venice have been cancelled.
A British Airways spokesperson said, “We are working as quickly as possible to resolve a systems issue which has resulted in some short-haul cancellations and delays from London airports.
“A number of flights continue to operate but we are advising customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information before coming to the airport. We are offering customers booked on short-haul services departing from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City today, the opportunity to rebook to another day.
“We are encouraging customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information, and to allow additional time at the airport.”
What passengers can do
The airline is using back-up and manual systems to try to cope with the issues.
British Airways is bound by passenger rights rules to re-book travellers whose flights are cancelled on other airlines if necessary. Anybody affected is also entitled to hotel accommodation and meals as necessary.
Anybody who arrives at their destination three hours or more late, or does not travel at all, is entitled to between £230 and £550 compensation. You can claim this by contacting the airline. The level of compensation is based on the distance of the flight you had booked.