Heathrow IT meltdown compounds Storm Dennis flight chaos

An IT meltdown at Heathrow on Sunday compounded weekend travel chaos as hundreds of flights were cancelled as Storm Dennis paralysed transport across much of the UK.

The London airport apologised for the “technical issue” which affected information boards across all terminals.

British Airways was forced to cancel 20 flights on top of hundreds grounded by multiple airlines as Storm Dennis hit across the February school half-term weekend.

MoreBA acts with flexible flight re-bookings ahead of Storm Dennis

BA warned that a knock-on impact was expected today and travellers were urged to check the status of their flights, with up to 80 services reportedly cancelled.

The airline said: “We have brought in extra colleagues to help our customers. But we are sorry for the disruption that the airport’s systems have had on many of your journeys.”

Heathrow said that systems were returning to normal last night.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused our passengers,” the airport said.

“Our teams will continue to monitor our systems and be on and across our terminals to provide assistance to passengers as we work to resume our regular operations.”

Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: “Passengers affected by the disruption at Heathrow should have the right to food, refreshments and overnight accommodation for long delays.

“If a flight is cancelled or delayed by more than five hours and you decide not to travel, you should also be offered an alternative flight or a full refund.

“Those who do miss flights because gate information wasn’t available should be offered help by their airline to get to their destination on the next flight.”

Storm Dennis grounded around 350 easyJet flights over the weekend, with passengers at Gatwick, Luton and Bristol airports most affected along with Southend, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Around 60 flights at Heathrow were affected on Saturday including BA, Aer Lingus, Air France, Lufthansa and Swiss.

An easyJet spokesperson said: “We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact of the disruption for our customers and to arrange alternative travel.

“We will also provide hotel rooms and meals for customers who require them.”

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