British Airways passengers face chaos due to IT outage

Check-in system failures have caused lengthy delays and a return to handwriting for staff attempting to cope with the flow of passengers.

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British Airways

Passengers attempting to board British Airways flights have experienced severe disruption when attempting to check-in at airports worldwide.

On Monday night, disgruntled passengers took to Twitter to complain that an "IT glitch" had taken down the airline's check-in systems, creating long delays for fliers.

BA has confirmed the outage, admitting the systems glitch affected "a number of airports" worldwide.

Travelers have complained of long queues at airports, and check-in problems have been reported at airports including Gatwick, San Fransisco, Rome, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

One flier, attempting to travel between San Fransisco and London Heathrow, posted a notice in which BA confirmed that passengers were delayed for approximately 30 minutes while an alternative check-in system was setup "in the absence of the computer system," and further delays were expected as check-in procedures had to rely on hand-written records.

Hand-written boarding passes have been issued in at least some airports across the United States. Passengers have also complained that a lack of staff, organization and communication has made the systems failure worse.

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Alex Kintzer via Twitter

The airline responded to angry customers online, apologizing to customers and saying that "we appreciate their patience as our IT teams work to resolve this issue." However, the complaints keep rolling in and online, there appears to be somewhat of a radio silence on how many airports are impacted, what the true problem is and what passengers may expect this morning.

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At the time of writing, problems caused by the IT outage are ongoing.

Passengers in the United Kingdom may also expect problems if traveling this morning. BA has told travelers on Twitter that "we are checking in customers as normal at Heathrow and Gatwick this morning," however, there may be a backlog from Monday night -- and there is no confirmation that IT systems are all up and running.

In addition, this is at odds with a comment provided to ZDNet by a BA spokesperson, who said:

"We are checking in customers at Heathrow and Gatwick Airport this morning, although it is taking longer than usual.

We are sorry for the delay to their journeys."

Customers have been advised to check-in online if possible.

BA is not the only player in the industry to experience problems this morning. London City Airport has also advised passengers that all flights are being disrupted due to protesters at the airport.

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