Airline forced to cancel flights due to computer system failure, possible hacking

British Airways was forced to cancel all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday when their computer systems went down worldwide.

The outage came as passengers sought to travel on Bank Holiday weekend but were left stranded in terminals with long lines forming inside and outside airport buildings during one of the hottest days to date this year in the UK.

Angry passengers posted messages on social media, complaining of missed flights, being stuck on the tarmac, and their inability to use British Airways’ website or app.

Reports surfaced that British Airways’ staff told irritated passengers that the company was experiencing a cyberattack, but those reports have been denied by the airline.

Passenger Jo Josson said, “Officials are telling us there has been a cyberattack against BA’s systems.”

Another passenger, Michele Andjel, said a British Airways flight captain announced, “It appears to be a cyberattack.”

British Airways released a statement earlier Saturday claiming “We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide.

“The terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested and we have cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick before 6pm UK time today, so please do not come to the airports.”

British Airways later announced that all Saturday flights from the two airports have been cancelled.

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