Local students affected by British Airways computer problem

Sunday, May 28, 2017 12:32AM
Local students affected by British Airways computer problem. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on May 27, 2017.


A computer problem forced all flights to be canceled at Heathrow and Gatwick. Among the stranded are students from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

On Saturday night, the British Airways said, at this stage we are aiming to operate a near normal schedule of flights from Gatwick and the majority of our Heathrow services. Please do not come to the airports unless you have a confirmed booking for travel.

Earlier in the day, British Airways flights at PHL were also cancelled.

British Airways passengers packed London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports trying to get on flights but by mid-day all flights were cancelled.

The culprit, a technical issue with the airline's IT system.

"We've been given absolutely zero information from anyone at Heathrow. None of the staff knows what's going on," stranded traveler, Harriett Mackie said.

The airline issued the following statement:

"Our IT teams are working tirelessly to fix the problem. We believe the root of the cause was a power supply issue. We have no evidence of any cyber-attack," Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman/CEO said.

The crash is disrupting tens of thousands of people among those stranded, musicians from Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of music.

The symphony orchestra is in London in the middle of a tour that includes nine cities in eighteen days.

"The line was looking pretty backed up. We heard the system was down and it got worse and worse actually," David Ludwig from the Curtis Institute said.

David Ludwig who teaches composition snapped selfies and like others in the group documented the crazy day.

The group spent 12 hours in Heathrow airport trying to get to Salzburg Austria. Eventually they returned to a London hotel. The president of the Curtis Institute says this is a good lesson to students about being a professional on tour.

"These are things that happen on tour and you have to roll with the punches, adventures of Curtis on tour," said Roberto Diaz, President of Curtis Institute of Music.

The group might charter a plane to arrive in Austria Sunday. Their next concert is on Monday.

British Airways also says the same issue has affected call centers and email.

The best way to stay in contact and find updates is by social media.
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