'Fail-safe' power system blamed for BA shambles

Javier Howell
May 31, 2017

The airline, which has traditionally positioned itself as an upmarket alternative to budget rivals like Ryanair, has come under fire in recent months for cutting costs in an attempt to compete with the growing number of budget airlines.

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.

The airline was returning to normal on Monday, planning to run more than 95 per cent of flights from London Heathrow and Gatwick, with only a handful of short-haul flights canceled.

Costly glitch Financial analysts estimated the computer crash could cost the company up to 100 million pounds (115 million euros, $128 million) in compensation claims and lost business.

BA's GMB union has said outsourcing IT jobs to India could have made the problems worse.

The carrier blamed the IT fault on a power outage but one IT expert quoted by the BBC said such and event should not have caused "even a flicker of the lights". BA said it was launching a thorough investigation to understand what happened and make sure there was no repeat.

"We don't take social media seriously but we do take IT very seriously and that is why we've never had an outage".

A statement on BA's website said: 'We apologise again for the frustration and inconvenience you are experiencing and thank you for your continued patience'.

"The footprint that we have is easier to control as a result", he said.

As stated by British Airways, the IT systems are now "back up and running" and the airline aims to operate the majority of flights departing from Heathrow Airport and attain an nearly normal schedule at Gatwick Airport.

The company was also criticised over pointing some affected customers to phone lines costing up to 62p a minute. "BA have made substantial profits for a number of years, and many viewed the company's actions as just plain greedy".

In December 2016, a Which? report unveiled that average customer satisfaction with BA had fallen 67% for short-haul flights and 60% for long-haul. "The Fair Telecoms Campaign calls on all users of 084 numbers to cease this foolishness".

'Although cost cutting has been good for the share price in the a year ago, it will come back to bite IAG if it stops them from doing what they are supposed to do: fly passengers to their destinations'.

Iberia and Air Nostrum, which like BA are part of the broader International Airlines Group and share some data, cancelled over 320 flights Monday.

He added that customer facing staff were "obviously quite distressed at the way they are being left to pick up the pieces for the untold misery that's being caused to passengers".

Other reports by Insurance News

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