British Airways canceled at least 42 flights out of London's Heathrow Airport on Friday as fallout from an IT systems breakdown on Thursday spilled over into a second day. File photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo
May 26 (UPI) -- British Airways canceled at least 42 short-haul flights Friday as issues with check-in caused by IT "technical problems" spilled over into a second day of travel chaos at the airline's London Heathrow Airport home.
Friday's cancellations were occurring due to the "knock-on effect of a technical issue," resulting in employees being in the wrong location, BA said in an apology statement.
"While the vast majority of our flights continue to operate today, we have canceled some of our short-haul flights from Heathrow due to the knock-on effect of a technical issue that we experienced yesterday."
Thursday saw at least 50 flights canceled, with many inbound flights delayed for an hour or more, bringing to around 16,000 the number of passengers affected by cancellations of flights, mainly to European and domestic destinations.
Alternative flights or refunds were being offered to passengers affected.
Other services have also been impacted. Online check-in was down for some passengers with a message on BA's website saying it was aware of a technical problem which it said it had been working hard to fix.
"We've been working hard to fix a technical issue and apologize for the inconvenience. Please check your flight status before going to the airport. Due to high call volumes please only contact us if you're due to travel in the next 48 hours."
However, the disruption to Heathrow, Britain's largest airport, has been limited as BA operates exclusively out of its own separate, purpose-built terminal, Terminal 4.
The airline has suffered previous IT breakdowns. The worst occurred on the same May holiday weekend six years ago when a major systems failure grounded all flights out of Heathrow and Gatwick airports and saw its global operation melt down, stranding tens of thousands of passengers.
The disruption comes at the start of the busiest flight departures day since summer 2019. Queues have begun forming at the Port of Dover as the bank holiday weekend and school half-term holiday get underway with delays expected on the roads and at ports and airports.
Upcoming Industrial action is expected to hit rail travel with passengers being warned that services will be severely curtailed by strikes affecting 19 train companies across England.