Heathrow Passengers Stranded by IT Glitch

london heathrowThe Daily Telegraph, September 25, 2013

Hundreds of British Airways passengers were unable to fly from Heathrow Wednesday, September 25, due to a computer problem.

The problems meant that travellers wanting to check in luggage at Terminal 5 were unable to do so, leaving many with no option but to remain at the airport as flights continued to depart on time.

The costly modern terminal, from where nearly all BA's Heathrow flights operate, had a disastrous opening day in March 2008, also caused by computer issues. Hundreds of bags went astray and there were long flight delays, although it has had few problems since.

Difficulties began around 9am. While staff had restored partial check-in for hold baggage by 11.30am, it was too late for hundreds of travellers who were forced to rebook on to later flights. Incoming flights were not affected, while those travelling with only hand luggage were still able to fly.

The BBC reported queues of up to 500 people trying to rebook.

Simon Frusher, who was attempting to fly to New York, said: "There are now thousands of people with missed flights, as planes went on time. Huge queues now for rebooking... unsure as yet what flight we can get."

An airport spokesman confirmed that all check-in services are now back in operation. "We have additional staff in the terminal to help passengers," it added.

A BA spokesman apologised for the inconvenience and said "all of our flights continue to operate as normal".

Edited by Oliver Smith for Telegraph.co.uk