British Airways warned of “knock-on” disruption as services return to normal on Thursday following an IT glitch which caused the cancellation of more than 100 flights.
And passengers face the threat of future disruption after British Airline Pilots Association members at BA voted on Wednesday to take industrial action in a dispute over pay.
Tens of thousands of passengers attempting to travel to or from Heathrow, Gatwick or London City were affected by the IT problem on Wednesday.
Some 117 flights due to depart or arrive at Heathrow were axed.
Our teams have been working tirelessly to get the vast majority of customers on their way, with most of our flights departingBA spokesman
BA could face a compensation bill in excess of £8 million if all those affected claim what they are entitled to under European Union rules.
The airline said in a statement on Wednesday night: “We have resolved the temporary systems issue from earlier today and apologised to customers who were affected.
“Any customers whose flights have been cancelled have either been rebooked or offered a refund.
“We plan to operate our normal schedule tomorrow, however there may be some knock-on disruption.
“We continue to ask customers to check ba.com before heading to the airport to get the latest status of their flight.”
The airline earlier said it appreciated “how frustrating their (customers’) experience has been” and said teams worked “tirelessly to get the vast majority” of travellers on their way.
There were long queues of passengers at Heathrow and error messages on the BA app as some services lagged more than five hours behind schedule.
@British_Airways @BBCNews – here we go again! Chaos! This is only half of one queue! My flight cancelled as are 100’s of others. I had checked-in so need my bag back – others told as checked-in can’t leave T5 without checking out! Happy 100th anniversary #BA pic.twitter.com/xr0DRUieQh
— Darren Rowe (@djrowe149) August 7, 2019
The airline was forced to use back-up and manual systems in a bid to cope with the problem.
Darren Rowe, from the Cotswolds, said his 10.20am flight to Hamburg from Heathrow for business meetings was cancelled before “all chaos let loose”.
He said: “There were massive queues, it was queue here, queue there, nobody was saying anything. The lack of information was just pathetic.
“You’ve got young families in that queue, people going to weddings, birthdays, on business. They could have had somebody come around with water updating people about what was going on.”
BA’s IT problems come after it suffered a major computer failure over the spring bank holiday weekend in May 2017, stranding tens of thousands of passengers and costing owner AIG around £80 million.