Dreams of a half-term holiday for thousands of families were dashed today after a major airline cancelled at least 42 flights.
Citing an IT failure, British Airways was already forced to delay or cancel some 80 flights altogether at London’s Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon.
A large number of inbound flights faced hour-long delays, while passengers set to fly out this evening were told they would likely face delays.
But further flights from Europe’s busiest airport on what is expected to be the busiest day for British air travel since before the pandemic have been cancelled.
Around 16,000 passengers have been so far affected by the travel chaos.
On its website, British Airways urged passengers to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport.
A spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘While the vast majority of our flights continue to operate today, we have cancelled some of our short-haul flights from Heathrow due to the knock-on effect of a technical issue that we experienced yesterday.
‘We’ve apologised to customers whose flights have been affected and offered them the option to rebook to an alternative flight with us or another carrier or request a refund.;
Air travel is expected to be its busiest over the next few days as three-day weekend coincidences with the start of a week-long half term for schools.
More than 11,300 flights are scheduled to depart from UK airports during the three-day weekend, equating to 2,000,000 seats, per aviation analytics firm Cirium.
Today has 3,000 flights pencilled in alone – with Heathrow having the largest number of arrivals – making it the busiest day since December 20 2019.
Heathrow staff are on-hand in terminals today to provide passengers with extra support.
British Airways stressed that the bulk of delayed or cancelled flights are ones with several daily flights, meaning passengers can rebook alternative routes.
But one Twitter user, who was at Heathrow at around 7pm yesterday, wasn’t best pleased.
‘Almost all BA flights from LHR T5 (London Heathrow Terminal 5) are cancelled tonight. No info. About 4 people on BA desks trying to deal with the chaos,’ they said.
‘Come on BA you can do better than this. You are supposed to be the UK’s flagship.’
British Airways and Heathrow Airport have been approached for comment.
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First appear at British Airways cancels at least 42 more flights today after IT failure