Following a computer outage that stranded thousands of passengers over Memorial Day weekend, British Airways has announced that passengers with cancelled flights will receive a full refund. Alternatively, they can rebook for dates through the end of November.
“I know this has been a horrible time for customers,” said British Airways Chief Executive Alex Cruz in the latest statement on the airline’s website. “Some of you have missed holidays. Some of you have been stranded on aircraft and some of you have been separated from your bags. Many of you have been stuck in long queues while you've waited for information. On behalf of everyone at British Airways, I want to apologise for the fact you've had to go through these very trying experiences. And to thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Under European Union (EU) air travel laws, passengers with short-haul flights delayed for over three hours are entitled to compensation of €250. The compensation rises to €400 for medium-haul flights delayed for more than three hours. For long-haul flights, passengers can get €300 for delays of between three and four hours and €600 for delays of more than four hours.
According to the BBC, the airline is now operating a full flight schedule after Tuesday morning. At the same time, the airline said that it is facing a backlog of luggage that will take “some days” to clear.
According to The Australian, a power surge in the airline’s IT system caused it to fail, also knocking out a backup system. The disruption forced the airline to cancel flights over the busy Memorial Day travel weekend from London Heathrow and Gatwick, affecting about 75,000 passengers.
Cruz told The Australian that the airline intends to “carry out an exhaustive investigation into what caused this incident, and take measures to ensure it never happens again.”
According to Fortune, shares in the airline’s parent company, IAG, fell as much as 4.5 percent on Tuesday, the first day of trading in London this week. Deutsche Bank analysts estimated that the airline would have to pay around 47 million euros to passengers, while the cost to restore the airline’s network could be as much as 15 million euros. At the same time, the bank said that it did not expect the incident to cause long-term damage to the airline.