Chaos for holidaymakers as British Airways meltdown hits 70,000 people ahead of pilot strikes

Mail Online | 8/7/2019 | James Salmon;Susie Coen;Christian Gysin for the Daily Mail
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Holidaymakers were facing airport misery last night amid crippling IT failures and the threat of strikes.

The chaos began yesterday when a check-in system meltdown hit tens of thousands of British Airways passengers at Heathrow and Gatwick.

Flights - Issue - BA - £16million - Compensation

More than 400 flights were cancelled or delayed before the issue was fixed, leaving BA facing a £16million compensation bill and knock-on disruption that could continue today. Ryanair pilots – who are already paid up to £180,000 a year – added to the agony last night by announcing plans to strike later this month in a dispute over pay and benefits.

The walkout – orchestrated by pilots’ union Balpa – is scheduled to go ahead on August 22 and August 23, the height of the summer holidays. It is set to overlap with a separate strike by around 4,000 Heathrow workers, including security staff and engineers, which is due to go ahead on August 23 and 24.

Time - Passengers - Threat - Strike - Airways

At the same time, passengers are still facing the threat of a strike by British Airways pilots. Their union is still locked in talks with the carrier over a pay dispute that could yet trigger a walkout later this month.

The unrest threatens further misery for holidaymakers at one of the busiest times of the year, when tens of thousands of families are heading abroad. Last night, Tory MP Steve Double, a member of the commons Transport committee, criticised unions for worsening the disruption. ‘Unions should not be holding holidaymakers to ransom to extract better pay deals for their members,’ he said.

Torment - Thousands - Families - Heathrow - Gatwick

The torment began at 6am for thousands of families at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City yesterday when British Airways’ online check-in system crashed. As staff were forced to process baggage manually, huge queues built up. Passengers were also unable to check in online.

By the time BA announced the problem had...
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