Dreams of a half-term holiday for thousands of families were dashed after a major airline cancelled 175 flights.
A large number of inbound flights faced hour-long delays, while passengers set to fly out this evening were told they would likely face delays.
While the ‘technical issue’ was fixed yesterday, the disruption continued to ripple into Friday, with 20,000 people having their journeys axed.
Aviation analytics company Cirium said 83 British Airways flights due to take off on Friday have been cancelled so far.
This all threw Europe’s busiest airport on what is expected to be the busiest day for British air travel since before the pandemic into chaos once again.
On its website, British Airways urged passengers to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport.
A spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘While the vast majority of our flights continue to operate today, we have cancelled some of our short-haul flights from Heathrow due to the knock-on effect of a technical issue that we experienced yesterday.
‘We’ve apologised to customers whose flights have been affected and offered them the option to rebook to an alternative flight with us or another carrier or request a refund.;
Air travel is expected to be its busiest over the next few days as three-day weekend coincidences with the start of a week-long half term for schools.
More than 11,300 flights are scheduled to depart from UK airports during the three-day weekend, equating to 2,000,000 seats, per aviation analytics firm Cirium.
People hoping to buck the busy weekend yesterday were greeted by winding queues stretching out Heathrow help desks, with some being unable to check-in.
Today has 3,000 flights pencilled in alone – with Heathrow having the largest number of arrivals – making it the busiest day since December 20 2019.
Heathrow staff are on-hand in terminals today to provide passengers with extra support.
British Airways stressed that the bulk of delayed or cancelled flights are ones with several daily flights, meaning it can rebook alternative routes for them.
But one Twitter user, Andrew Frankel, wasn’t best pleased.
‘Last flight I took with British Airways was delayed by 27 hours. Today’s they just cancelled,’ he said.
‘Everyone understands things go wrong,’ Andrew added, ‘it’s what you do to put it right that counts which, in BA’s case, is essentially nothing.’
British Airways and Heathrow Airport have been approached for comment.
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