Getting through an IT crisis isn't just about fixing servers and stitching an airline's systems back together but also should include an aggressive communications effort for passengers. Many British Airways flyers complained they weren't getting enough information from the airline.
The airline said that it hopes to operate a “near normal schedule” at Gatwick and the “majority of services” from Heathrow on Sunday.
“Work continues to restore all of our IT systems but we expect some further disruption today,” BA said in a statement.
BA canceled all flights from both airports Saturday, upending the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend. It blamed a power supply issue for the outage and said there was no sign it was under cyberattack.
BA operates hundreds of flights from Heathrow and Gatwick on a typical day — and both are major hubs for worldwide travel.
On Saturday, passengers at Heathrow and Gatwick faced long lines at check-in counters and the failure of both the airline’s website and its mobile app. BA said the crash also affected its call centers.
Many passengers complained about a lack of information from the airline.
“Some 80-year-old lady was standing around waiting for announcements, et cetera, and she fell over,” said Londoner Terry Page, who managed to get on one of the last flights from Heathrow to Dallas-Fort Worth Saturday. He and other passengers arrived, but their luggage did not.
“We helped her up and she said ‘I’m just so tired,'” Page said. “It’s been a terrible, terrible day.”
The airline said it would refund or rebook customers affected by the IT failure.
While not that frequent, when airline outages do happen, the effects are widespread, high-profile and can hit travelers across the globe.
BA passengers were hit with severe delays in July and September 2016 because of problems with the airline’s online check-in systems.
In August 2016, Delta planes around the world were grounded when an electrical component failed and led to a shutdown of the transformer that provides power to the airline’s data center. Delta said it lost $100 million in revenue as a result of the outage.
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Photo Credit: British Airways flights were expected to resume May 28, 2017 after a systems outage a day earlier. In this January 10, 2017 photo, British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport during a 48-hour cabin crew strike in London. Frank Augstein / Associated Press
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