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Global Outage Grounds BA Flights       05/27 09:25

   LONDON (AP) -- British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow 
and Gatwick airports Saturday as a global IT failure caused severe disruption 
for travelers on a busy holiday weekend.

   The airline said it was suffering a "major IT systems failure" around the 
world. It didn't say what was causing the problem but said there was no 
evidence of a cyberattack.

   BA said terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick had become extremely congested and 
cancelled all flights from those airports until 6 p.m. (1700GMT, 1 p.m. EDT). 
It urged passengers not to go to the airports.

   Passengers at Heathrow reported long lines at check-in counters, flight 
delays and failures of BA's website and mobile app.

   One posted a picture on Twitter of BA staff writing gate numbers on a white 
board.

   "We've tried all of the self-check-in machines. None were working, apart 
from one," said Terry Page, booked on a flight to Texas. "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."

   Another traveler, PR executive Melissa Davis, said she was held for more 
than an hour and a half on the tarmac at Heathrow aboard a BA flight arriving 
from Belfast.

   She said passengers had been told they could not transfer to other flights 
because "they can't bring up our details."

   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. He said 
passengers on planes that have landed at Heathrow were unable to get off 
because there was nowhere to park.

   Heathrow said the IT problem had caused "some delays for passengers" and it 
was working with BA to resolve it. Some BA flights were still arriving at 
Heathrow Saturday afternoon, while many were listed as "delayed."

   The problem comes on a holiday weekend, when thousands of Britons are 
travelling.

   BA passengers were hit with severe delays in July and September 2016 because 
of problems with the airline's online check-in systems. 


(KA)

 
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