Thousands of British Airways passengers across the globe have been left stranded today after dozens of long-haul flights were delayed and canceled just days before Christmas because of a technical failure.
Desperate customers trying to get home for Christmas – including actress Elizabeth Hurley – have been left ‘with no food, water or hotels’ after Multiple planes across the United States and the Caribbean, bound for London Heathrow and Gatwick, were grounded before taking off on Monday night.
The beleaguered airline was forced to apologise after axeing 15 flights out of Heathrow today and leaving families inside airports and on the tarmac across Europe, the US and Asia.
Liz Hurley was among those to share their frustration on Twitter, telling fans she was stranded in Antigua and told she would have to wait 20 hours for a flight.
HAS YOUR FLIGHT BEEN AFFECTED BY THE ‘TECHNICAL’ GLITCH? Email email@example.com
Actress Liz Hurley was caught in the chaos, tweeting that she would be waiting 20 hours for a flight
Actor Adam Woodyatt voiced his frustration as a friend was left waiting nearly a week for their bags
British Airways passengers waiting for last night flights were left frustrated as a ‘technical’ glitch grounded planes
Video showed hundreds of bags piled up waiting to be returned to their owners at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 last night
Some reported being held on the tarmac for hours while cabin crew and pilots were left waiting on flight plans to get them to their destinations, with photos showing people sleeping in the aisle of some planes.
Passengers landing at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 also faced long delays for their luggage, with EastEnders actor Adam Woodyatt complaining a friend had been left waiting days for their bags to arrive.
The technical issue caused massive delays to flights from the UK’s flagship airline, stranding passengers as at least nine long-haul flights to Heathrow were canceled last night and this morning.
Several other flights suffered long delays, including one from the US city of Philadelphia which is expected to land more than five-and-a-half hours behind schedule.
Furious passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration, posting pictures of long queues and photos showing some people even sleeping in the aisles of planes while waiting to be taken off.
Among those caught in the chaos was actress Elizabeth Hurley, who tweeted she was left ‘stranded at Antigua airport’ after her flight was ‘delayed for 20 hours’.
Others trying to catch flights reported being left waiting on the tarmac at New York’s JFK airport for more than four hours.
Photos taken on one flight show people sleeping in the aisle during the long delay to take off
Passengers took to social media to complain about the delays and cancellations to their flights
Author Colin Dickey said on Twitter: ‘Captain of our British Airways flight just said that their flight computers have been down for two hours worldwide and no BA plane can file a flight plan? Seems not ideal. Anyway just chillin’ on the tarmac here at JFK, being cool.’
He added: ‘British Airways’ system has been down worldwide for 3 hours now; Captain said the last time this happened (earlier this year, wtf), it took 2-3 hours once the system came back online. (Putting this all here so other stranded people can find it, in case it’s helpful for them).’
He later tweeted that the airline had ‘borrowed’ a flight computer from Lufthansa, with his flight taking off more than four hours after it was scheduled to.
Other passengers reported delays across North America in flights that were meant to be departing from the likes of Toronto, Miami and Denver. Some were left forlornly looking at their planes as they were stuck on the tarmac.
Author Colin Dickey tweeted about his hours-long ordeal while waiting for his flight from JFK to take off
There were also delays for passengers arriving into Terminal 5 at Heathrow last night, with From inside the terminal shows hundreds of suitcases piled up high in the baggage reclaim hall.
Lorna Bryant, who arrived into the airport last night, told MailOnline the situation was a ‘nightmare’.
She said there were ‘hundreds, if not thousands, of suitcases dumped in a pile, unattended, waiting for staff to load them onto the conveyor belts’.
‘We have just been informed that baggage delays are expected to more than 90 minutes,’ she said.
We also had delays when we landed. The pilot explained that there were no staff ready to assist them in parking the plane. No shuttle buses ready to take us to the terminal, either.’
She added there seemed to be ‘absolutely no staff,’ and that ‘the pilot even suggested we leave a bad review because they’re sick of the delays every time they land at Heathrow’.
Video taken inside Terminal 5 last night shows hundreds of bags piled up at the luggage reclaim
Passengers were seen forlornly waiting as they were stuck for more than an hour for their luggage
Actress Charlotte Kennedy said she had been left waiting nearly a week for her luggage to arrive after her bag was lost at Heathrow.
She tweeted: ‘Hiya British Airways me again, I understand Heathrow is a shambles right now but my bag is still there. It’s been almost a week and there is no indication of when it will arrive in Edinburgh. Patience running thin and my clothes running out lol if you don’t laugh, you will cry.’
EastEnder’s actor Adam Woodyatt also hit out at the airline in support of his friends, writing: ‘C’mon British Airways a day or two is bad enough but a week is beyond a joke.’
In a statement, BA said: ‘Our flights due to depart the USA tonight are currently delayed due to a technical issue with our third-party flight planning supplier, which we are urgently investigating.
‘We’re sorry for any disruption this will cause to our customers’ plans, our aim is for these flights to depart as quickly as possible.’
This is not a safety issue. We are keeping our customers up to date and providing them with refreshments,’ the airline added.
In a statement issued later in the night, it said: ‘Our teams have now resolved a temporary issue that affected some of our long-haul flight planning systems overnight, which resulted in delays to our schedule.
‘We’re sorry for the disruption caused to our customers’ travel plans.’
BA has been contacted for comment about the delays at Terminal 5.