British Airways cancels London flights over 'IT crash'

British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport during a 48hr cabin crew strike in London. Air travelers faced delays Saturday

British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport during a 48hr cabin crew strike in London. Air travelers faced delays Saturday

It said power supply problems, and not a cyber-attack, was the cause.

"British Airways has ruined our honeymoon".

All passengers affected by the failure - which coincides with the first weekend of the half-term holiday for many in the United Kingdom - will be offered the option of rescheduling or a refund, it stated.

BA said passengers should not travel to Heathrow or Gatwick for the remainder of Saturday, and should contact the airline for rebooking or refund.

Passenger Phillip Norton tweeted video of an announcement from a pilot to passengers at Rome's Fiumicino airport, saying the problem affects the system that regulates what passengers and baggage go on which aircraft.

A spokesman said: "Our focus is on updating customers and doing what we can to get them to their destinations as quickly as possible".

BA staff in Heathrow's Terminal 5 were resorting to using white boards, it added.

Some jokingly suggested on Twitter that BA should try "turning it off and back on again", to which the company replied: "It turns out the "off" button, was just for the lounge lights.We're trying other things now".

He told Reuters that he and his family arrived at 1030 GMT at Heathrow and waited three and half hours in a queue, before eventually being told that flights were cancelled. "We knew there was problems in London, but the internet was showing that it was still OK to book it", traveler Sandra Hewitt said. "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".

Passengers lucky enough to be aboard one of the few flights taking off on Saturday later found their hold luggage had not made it onto the plane with them.

While not that frequent, when airline outages do happen, the effects are widespread, high-profile and can hit travellers across the globe.

Earlier, passengers at Heathrow reported long lines at check-in counters and flight delays.

In August 2016, Delta planes around the world were grounded when an electrical component failed and led to a shutdown of the transformer that provides power to the airline's data center.

Many passengers complained about a lack of information from the airline.

Delta said it lost $100 million in revenue as a result of the outage.

It apologised for the "global system outage" and said it was "working to resolve the problem".

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