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British Airways to operate full flight schedule at Heathrow and Gatwick

British Airways to operate full flight schedule at Heathrow and Gatwick

A power failure on Saturday resulted in mass flight cancellations across London Heathrow and Gatwick airports, causing chaos for 75,000 passengers.

British Airways was forced to cancel its entire schedule from both London airports - Heathrow and Gatwick - on Saturday after its IT system collapsed following a power surge which ultimately led to disruption for more than 300,000 passengers.

Claims-handling firms have been urging BA passengers to use their services, but now that the airline has said it will pay eligible claims everyone affected by the weekend disruption can now apply through the airline's website.

"All of our check-in and operational systems have been affected and we have canceled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick for today", Cruz said in a video message on Twitter.

"We are extremely sorry for the frustration and inconvenience customers experienced over the Bank Holiday weekend and thank them for their patience and understanding".

The IT outage had a knock-on effect on BA services around the world, while passengers who did get moving on the limited number of flights to take off from the United Kingdom reported arriving at their destinations without their luggage.

Cruz has faced calls to resign over the IT glitch, which has been blamed on cost cutting that led to IT services being outsourced to India a year ago.

But BA denied that this was the reason.

Shares in British Airways parent IAG fell 4% in early trading on the London Stock Exchange this morning, the first day the United Kingdom markets had opened since the United Kingdom carrier's services were wrecked by its IT systems failure on 27 May. "In 2016, BA made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India", said Mick Rix, national officer for aviation at the union. At the same time, the airline said that it is facing a backlog of luggage that will take "some days" to clear.

He also asked passengers not to arrive at Heathrow too early, warning they would not be admitted into Terminal 5 until 90 minutes before their flight's scheduled departure time.

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".

The IT failure was caused by a short but catastrophic power surge at 9.30 am on Saturday that affected the company's messaging system, he said, and the backup system failed to work properly.

Analysts though, have noted the airline will be counting the cost, including to the carrier's reputation.

The airline canceled more than 580 flights and delayed hundreds more, according to FlightAware.com.

The airline said it would seek to rebook customers "over the course off the rest of the weekend", or offer full refunds if a passenger is unable to fly.

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