British Airways flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports were canceled Saturday because of global computer problems, resulting in mass confusion and chaos for tens of thousands of travelers on a busy holiday weekend.
The airline said it was suffering a “major IT systems failure” around the world. A British Airways official told Fox News Saturday there was “absolutely no evidence” a cyberattack caused the problem.
The airline annouced it would be cancelling all flights from the airports until 6 p.m. due to the IT failure. The airline urged travelers to avoid Heathrow and Gatwick, London’s two biggest.
Earlier, passengers at Heathrow reported long lines at check-in counters and flight delays. One posted a picture on Twitter of airline staff writing gate numbers on a white board.
“We’ve tried all of the self-check-in machines. None were working, apart from one,” said Terry Page, booked on a flight to Texas. “There was a huge queue for it and it later transpired that it didn’t actually work, but you didn’t discover that until you got to the front.”
Another traveler, PR executive Melissa Davis, said she was held for more than an hour and a half on the tarmac at Heathrow aboard a BA flight arriving from Belfast.
She said passengers had been told they could not transfer to other flights because “they can’t bring up our details.”
Heathrow said the IT problem had caused “some delays for passengers” and it was working with BA to resolve it.
The problem comes on a holiday weekend, when thousands of Britons are travelling.
BA passengers were hit with severe delays in July and September 2016 because of problems with the airline’s online check-in systems.
BA has not said what is causing the computer problem, but says it is working to resolve it as quickly as possible.
The Associated Press contributed to this report