British Airways ‘running on paper’ after suffering major outage

Flights were cancelled and delayed at Heathrow after an IT failure that BA described as a ‘technical issue’.

25 February 2022

British Airways has suffered a major outage with passengers complaining of cancellations and delays while digital systems were down.

The airline’s website and app were inaccessible for hours on Friday evening, leaving customers unable to book flights.

BA said it was a “technical issue” and that it is still operating flights and checking passengers in.

Ed Hall, 54, a television executive from Woodstock, Oxfordshire, was stuck on a plane for over an hour after landing at Heathrow Terminal 5 because the crew could not access any IT systems to get a stand where passengers could disembark.

He said there were issues even before his BA 399 flight took off from Brussels.

Mr Hall told PA: “We couldn’t take off as the pilot’s system that calculates weight, loads and distribution went offline and we had to go back to the gate from the runway to get a (manual) copy sent from London.

“BA is running on paper tonight”.

Once he finally disembarked, baggage was piling up from passengers stuck on other flights, he said.

Mr Hall added that a friend waiting for a long-haul flight in Terminal 5 was having to board manually.

Photographs of departure boards in Terminal 5 showed few flights boarding.

A departure screen at Heathrow Terminal 5 showing only one flight boarding (Ed Hall/PA)

Sophia Prout, 33, from London, waited in Terminal 5 for her BA flight to Lisbon, scheduled for 7.05pm, until it was cancelled just after 9pm.

She said it was “frustrating” that technical issues were ongoing as she had been waiting for a total of four hours after checking in at around 5pm when only a few of the desks were working.

Ms Prout said she had arrived early because she could not check in online.

She said: “We’re lucky that we can turn around and go home if the flight gets cancelled, but would be nice to get an idea of when/if we will take off”.

It is BA’s second outage in 10 days.

The airline said: “We’re investigating and working hard to resolve a technical issue and apologise for the inconvenience.

“We will provide further updates as quickly as possible”.

Heathrow Airport said: “Heathrow’s systems and air traffic control are operating as normal.

“We are aware of a technical issue that @British_Airways are investigating and we will be working with them to provide updates to passengers as soon as they are available”.

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