British Airways IT Meltdown May 27 & Rebooking Guidelines Issued

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British Airways faced major IT meltdown on May 27, 2017, that resulted the airline to ground entire operations at the London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

BA Meltdown

The airline expects to begin restoring service to normal levels on Sunday May 28, although airplanes and crews may be out of rotations and delays can be expected.

British Airways has issued the following rebooking guidelines to travel agents:

Earlier this morning, British Airways suffered a major IT system outage and we continue to experience difficulties. BA has taken the decision to cancel ALL of flights to/ from London Heathrow and London Gatwick for the remainder of the day. The following guidelines have been issued to assist passengers whose flight has been cancelled on Saturday 27 May 2017.

Advice for British Airways-125 ticketed customers whose BA flight has been cancelled

Airports Affected Any cancelled flight which was due to operate to/ from LHR or LGW
Tickets issued by 26 May 2017
Ticket Travel dates 27 May 2017
Rebooking Allowance 1 Rebook onto an alternative British Airways service, same point of origin and destination between 28 May 2017 – 30 November 2017.
Rebook into the same class as original or if not available the lowest class in the same cabin
Origin/Destination/Stopover changes No
Refunds Allowed Yes
Notes One involuntary ticket change allowed

Conclusion

One could argue that affected passengers are eligible for the EC 261/2004 delay compensation because surely IT is within British Airways control and cannot be considered force majeure. Outsourcing IT to the lowest cost bidder probably hasn’t been the wisest choice….

British Airways is required per the EC 261/2004 rebook the affected passengers not just on their own services but on other airlines as well such as Emirates and Etihad. Not sure why the guidelines above don’t spell this clearly out.

At least the BA is quite generous here how far out the rebooking can be done.

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