Travel chaos at Heathrow airport after technical failure triggers more than 100 cancellations

Simon Calder
Tens of thousands of passengers at Heathrow airport have had their flights cancelled: Getty

Tens of thousands of passengers at Heathrow airport have had their flights cancelled or heavily delayed due to an IT failure involving check-in systems.

Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe. The failure is affecting all four passenger terminals, both landside (before the security check) and airside.

It has already hit thousands of Monday morning passengers because of consequent cancellations.

Departure gate information is being handwritten on whiteboards.

More than 100 flights to and from the airport have been cancelled during the day, the vast majority of them on British Airways – the biggest airline at the airport.

BA had intended to cancel around 20 flights because of the severe weather but has grounded a further 80 as a result of what Heathrow calls “technical issues which are currently being resolved”.

One traveller, Tim Barton, boarded his 4.05pm departure to Dusseldorf two hours behind schedule. He told The Independent: “Chaos is an understatement.

“It all started when I arrived from Edinburgh. I went to flight connections and was refused entry by the automatic barriers.

“I wasn’t alone. I was sent to a BA customer service desk. There must have been 50 people in the queue – some with tight connections to the US and Japan.

“No information available. Just had to keep asking people what’s going on.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “We are continuing to experience technical issues which are currently being resolved.

“We have additional passenger ambassadors being deployed across our terminals both airside and landside to help direct our customers to their departure gates.

“We apologise for the disruption this is causing our passengers.”

Besides the cancellations, passengers are experiencing long delays.

One Emirates flight to Dubai was almost three hours late, causing many passengers to miss connections in the UAE.

Further problems are expected at the start of the working week, especially for transfer passengers.

British Airways has already cancelled at least 30 Monday morning flights to Heathrow because aircraft and crew are out of position.

A BA spokesperson said: “We’re aware that Heathrow airport is currently experiencing a technical issue that is impacting some of its IT systems across the airport, affecting a number of airlines.

“We are working with them to resolve the issue, and we have brought in extra staff to help get our customers on their way as quickly as possible.”

Read more

Storm Dennis triggers hundreds of flight cancellations

Video shows Heathrow plane landing almost sideways in crosswinds

BA charges £640 return on new Heathrow to Newquay route

  • Coronavirus transforms New York as US overtakes China toll
    News
    AFP News

    Coronavirus transforms New York as US overtakes China toll

    Emergency field hospitals were readied in New York's Central Park and at the home of the US Open tennis tournament Tuesday on a day when the US death toll from the coronavirus surpassed that of China. The pandemic has killed some 1,000 New Yorkers and President Donald Trump warned in Washington

  • Italy doctors warn of 'bio bombs' from patients sent to care homes
    News

    Italy doctors warn of 'bio bombs' from patients sent to care homes

    Italian doctors and unions have warned that a government policy to send patients discharged from hospital but still positive for coronavirus to care homes is like priming "biological bombs". With over 28,000 people in hospital including more than 4,000 in intensive care, beds need to be freed

  • China lockdown may have blocked 700,000 virus cases: researchers
    News
    AFP News

    China lockdown may have blocked 700,000 virus cases: researchers

    China's decision to lock down the city of Wuhan, ground zero for the global COVID-19 pandemic, may have prevented more than 700,000 new cases by delaying the spread of the virus, researchers said Tuesday. Drastic Chinese control measures in the first 50 days of the epidemic bought other cities across

  • Trump urges Florida to welcome cruise ship with deadly coronavirus outbreak
    News
    Reuters

    Trump urges Florida to welcome cruise ship with deadly coronavirus outbreak

    Weighing in on the fate of Holland America Line's MS Zaandam during a White House briefing, Trump said he would call Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has declared the vessel unwelcome to prevent its sick passengers from being "dumped" on his state. "They're dying on the ship

  • Japan business sentiment negative for first time since 2013: survey
    News
    AFP News

    Japan business sentiment negative for first time since 2013: survey

    Confidence among Japan's biggest manufacturers has plunged into negative territory for the first time in seven years, a key survey showed Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic hits demand and disrupts production. The Bank of Japan's March Tankan business survey -- a quarterly poll of about 10,000

  • UK coronavirus deaths rise by 27%, minister laments 'shocking' toll
    News
    Reuters

    UK coronavirus deaths rise by 27%, minister laments 'shocking' toll

    The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% in the space of a day, according to new figures on Tuesday that a senior cabinet minister described as shocking and disturbing. "The increase in the number of deaths is deeply shocking, disturbing (and) moving," Cabinet

  • With 2020 race all but halted over coronavirus, Biden quietly widens lead over Trump - Reuters/Ipsos poll
    News
    Reuters

    With 2020 race all but halted over coronavirus, Biden quietly widens lead over Trump - Reuters/Ipsos poll

    Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden has quietly expanded his lead over President Donald Trump among registered voters, even as the rapidly spreading coronavirus has all but sidelined the former vice president's campaign, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday. The

  • From zero to hero: Italy's Chinese help beat coronavirus
    News
    Reuters

    From zero to hero: Italy's Chinese help beat coronavirus

    In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed -- the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country's Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful

  • Trump warns Americans of a tough two weeks ahead in coronavirus fight
    News
    Reuters

    Trump warns Americans of a tough two weeks ahead in coronavirus fight

    President Donald Trump warned Americans on Tuesday of a "painful" two weeks ahead in fighting the coronavirus, with a mounting U.S. death toll that could stretch into the hundreds of thousands even with strict social distancing measures. In perhaps his most somber news conference to date about

  • US kids stuck at home embrace online exercise classes
    News
    AFP News

    US kids stuck at home embrace online exercise classes

    It's not just idle play: they are taking online classes from a local kids' gym in Houston to burn up some of their pent-up energy -- and to learn crucial motor and social skills at the same time. When authorities in Houston -- like many other jurisdictions around the United States -- issued

  • Virus crisis gives US abortion opponents an opening
    News
    AFP News

    Virus crisis gives US abortion opponents an opening

    As the novel coronavirus rages across the United States, a new legal battle over abortion is brewing -- and its impact is unclear. Led by Texas, several conservative-leaning US states have classified abortions as "nonessential" or elective procedures -- meaning they have been delayed under

  • SoftBank bolsters investment team with ex-Goldman hire
    Finance
    Reuters

    SoftBank bolsters investment team with ex-Goldman hire

    SoftBank Group Corp said on Wednesday it has appointed former Goldman Sachs banker Taiichi Hoshino as head of a new investment planning department, as the group increases oversight of its tech bets battered by volatile markets. Souring bets across its portfolio have left SoftBank selling down prime

  • US working on plan to allow virus-hit ship to dock
    News
    AFP News

    US working on plan to allow virus-hit ship to dock

    US authorities were finalizing a plan on Tuesday to allow a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship, the Zaandam, to dock in Florida after its operator warned that more passengers may die if it is left out at sea. "Already four guests have passed away and I fear other lives are at risk," Orlando

  • As Europe reels, US braces for staggering virus death toll
    News
    AFP News

    As Europe reels, US braces for staggering virus death toll

    Americans were told Tuesday to brace for "very painful" weeks ahead in a worsening coronavirus pandemic projected to claim up to a quarter million US lives, as fatalities spiked in European hotspots Spain, France and Britain. With more than 42,100 already killed by the disease barrelling around

  • US Navy captain says carrier faces dire coronavirus threat
    News
    AFP News

    US Navy captain says carrier faces dire coronavirus threat

    The captain of the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt told the Pentagon that new coronavirus is spreading uncontrollably through his ship and called for immediate help to quarantine its crew. Captain Brett Crozier wrote in a four-page letter that they had not been able to stem the

  • Now Trump says it's wrong to compare coronavirus to regular flu
    News
    AFP News

    Now Trump says it's wrong to compare coronavirus to regular flu

    President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the risk from coronavirus is emphatically worse than regular flu, reversing his previous statements. Trump told a White House press conference that "a lot of people" had previously suggested the country should simply let the coronavirus take its course

  • Virus-linked fraud schemes cost US consumers nearly $5 mn
    News
    AFP News

    Virus-linked fraud schemes cost US consumers nearly $5 mn

    Coronavirus-related fraud schemes are rising fast and have cost US consumers some $4.77 million so far, a government watchdog said Tuesday. The Federal Trade Commission said it had more than 7,800 coronavirus-related reports from consumers as of Monday, double the number from a week earlier. The consumer

  • Xerox ends hostile bid to buy HP
    News
    AFP News

    Xerox ends hostile bid to buy HP

    Xerox on Tuesday dropped its unwelcomed bid to buy computer and printer maker HP for about $36 billion, blaming market turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The end of the hostile takeover campaign came less than two months after the imaging and copying giant upped by about 10 percent a bid rejected

  • Zoom under scrutiny in US over privacy, porn hacks
    News
    AFP News

    Zoom under scrutiny in US over privacy, porn hacks

    Video conferencing app Zoom, which has seen its popularity skyrocket in the coronavirus pandemic, is in hot water after users complained to the FBI of being startled by porn during meetings. New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter to the in-vogue California enterprise "with a number

  • With 2020 race all but halted over coronavirus, Biden quietly widens lead over Trump - Reuters/Ipsos poll
    News
    Reuters

    With 2020 race all but halted over coronavirus, Biden quietly widens lead over Trump - Reuters/Ipsos poll

    Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden has quietly expanded his lead over President Donald Trump among registered voters, even as the rapidly spreading coronavirus has all but sidelined the former vice president's campaign, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday. The

  • Trump’s Coronavirus Claim Is His Biggest Lie Yet – And It Could Be Working
    huffpost
    HuffPost

    Trump’s Coronavirus Claim Is His Biggest Lie Yet – And It Could Be Working

    He bankrupted casinos but sold voters on his business acumen anyway. Now he needs America to forget he downplayed coronavirus for two months.

  • Trump warns US headed for 'very, very painful two weeks'
    News
    AFP News

    Trump warns US headed for 'very, very painful two weeks'

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned of a "very painful" two weeks as the United States wrestles with a coronavirus surge that the White House warns could kill as many as 240,000 Americans. "This is going to be a very painful, a very, very painful two weeks," Trump told a press

  • New York hospital doctor prepares for the worst
    News
    AFP News

    New York hospital doctor prepares for the worst

    With the rapid rise of hospitalizations and a health system nearly at capacity, New York doctor Shamit Patel is preparing for the worst over the next few days, all while hoping he won't have to start choosing which coronavirus patients to treat. Just 10 days ago, only half of the 46-year-old internist

  • Los Angeles virus patients isolate in mobile homes
    News
    AFP News

    Los Angeles virus patients isolate in mobile homes

    A mobile home park near a Los Angeles beach -- usually home to vacationers with an ocean view -- has become an isolation zone for COVID-19 patients. About 100 white caravans are lined up side by side at the Dockweiler RV Park, with mask-wearing guards blocking entrances as health workers in protective

  • Dow ends disastrous quarter on weak note while European stocks gain
    News
    AFP News

    Dow ends disastrous quarter on weak note while European stocks gain

    Wall Street stocks closed a historically bad quarter on a weak note Tuesday, while European and Asian bourses gained following better Chinese economic data. The Dow dropped almost two percent more to finish at 21,917.16, a loss of more than 23 percent for the quarter, its worst since 1987. Earlier,