Three UAE-bound British Airways flights affected by airline’s computer problems

British Airways cancelled all flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday.

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ABU DHABI // At least three UAE-bound flights have been affected after British Airways announced it cancelled all flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday due to a massive computer glitch.

“We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide,” a British Airways spokeswoman said. “The terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested and we have cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick before 6pm UK time today, so please do not come to the airports.”

British Airways flight BA73 was due to take off from London at 12:40pm and arrive in Abu Dhabi tonight at 22:55; BA107 was scheduled to depart London at 12:55pm and arrive at Dubai’s Terminal 1 at 23:10; and British Airlines flight BA109 was scheduled to depart 21:20 from London to Dubai.

“With regret we have had to cancel all flights leaving from Heathrow and Gatwick for the rest of today, Saturday, May 27,” a spokeswoman said. “We are working hard to get our customers who were due to fly today (Saturday) onto the next available flights over the course of the rest of the weekend. Those unable to fly will be offered a full refund.”

Most long-haul flights due to land in London tomorrow (Sunday, May 28) are expected to arrive as normal, according to the spokeswoman.

“We are working to restore our services from tomorrow, although some delays and disruption may continue into Sunday,” she said.

The company’s social media accounts were bombarded with queries from frustrated travellers seeking information about the status of their flights earlier in day, as the system outage also affected British Airways’ call centres and website.

“We’re unable to check on updates due to system issues,” British Airways tweeted in response to a customer. “We’ll take a look as soon as we’re able to. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Travellers are asked to monitor ba.com, Twitter and airport communication channels for updates.

“We will be updating the situation via the media regularly throughout the day,” the spokeswoman said. “We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this is causing our customers during this busy holiday period.”

rpennington@thenational.ae