BA to Pay $112 Million in Compensation Due to Computer Crash
The disastrous meltdown of British Airways over a busy holiday weekend further fanned public outrage against an industry infamous for its focus on cost cuts over customer service, leaving the U.K. carrier scrambling to explain how a local computer outage could lead to thousands of passengers getting stranded.
The global aviation industry hardly needed another blow but then on Saturday morning, a brief power surge knocked out British Airways’ communications systems grounding the carrier’s entire London operations, leading to days of chaos and putting the new chief executive officer in the hot seat. A full flight schedule is due to resume on Tuesday.
With nearly 600 flights cancelled and luggage unable to be dispersed, images and horror stories quickly coursed through social media. Damages for rebooking and compensating customers is estimated at about 100 million euros ($112 million), or about 3 percent of the annual operating profit of parent IAG SA.
The image damage could be even greater as British Airways appears to have no idea how it all happened. “We’re absolutely committed to finding out the root causes of this particular event,” a grim looking Alex Cruz, the airlines’ CEO, said. He did, however, rule out a cyberattack, which suggests the faults are home-grown.
The airline’s communications systems are now working again and British Airways will run full flight schedules at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports on May 30, it said in an emailed statement.