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BA flights delayed at Heathrow from 'technical issue' – but denies it was Russian cyber attack 

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British Airways flights are delayed at Heathrow as luggage piles up and passengers are left stuck on planes after airline suffers ‘significant technical issue’ – but denies it was hit by Russian cyber attack

  • British Airways has been hit by ‘technical issues’ that have paralysed  IT system
  • Passengers said tonight staff had suggested it had been ‘Russian cyber attack’
  • But source insisted it was nothing of the sort and a software issue in system 


British Airways was tonight forced to deny it had been hit by a Russian cyber attack after a massive IT systems failure.

The prestige airline suffered a major outage with passengers complaining of cancellations and delays while digital systems were down.

The airline’s website and app were inaccessible for hours on Friday evening, leaving customers unable to book flights.

At Heathrow passengers claimed staff had suggested ‘it was probably down to Putin and cyber attacks’.

But BA said it was just a ‘technical issue’ and that it is still operating flights and checking passengers in.

A source familiar with the situation told MailOnline: ‘It’s absolutely not the case a cyber attack has been carried out.

‘This is a technical issue and all flights are still operating and customers are being checked in.’

British Airways said it had not been attacked and insisted that it was just a'technical issue'

British Airways said it had not been attacked and insisted that it was just a ‘technical issue’

Passengers onboard BA flights claimed staff had blamed problems on'probable cyber attack'

Passengers onboard BA flights claimed staff had blamed problems on ‘probable cyber attack’

Ed Hall, 54, a television executive from Woodstock, Oxfordshire, was stuck on a plane for over an hour after landing at Heathrow Terminal 5 because the crew could not access any IT systems to get a stand where passengers could disembark.

He said there were issues even before his BA 399 flight took off from Brussels.

Mr Hall told PA: ‘We couldn’t take off as the pilot’s system that calculates weight, loads and distribution went offline and we had to go back to the gate from the runway to get a (manual) copy sent from London.

‘BA is running on paper tonight’.

Once he finally disembarked, baggage was piling up from passengers stuck on other flights, he said.

Mr Hall added that a friend waiting for a long-haul flight in Terminal 5 was having to board manually.

Departure screens were completely blank at Heathrow after the computer system failure

Departure screens were completely blank at Heathrow after the computer system failure

He said later on Twitter: ‘Pilot on BA 399: “There might be more reasons for the IT problems we’ve had in the last few days, Eastern Europe perhaps” Plane on taxiway at LHR as ‘frequencies’ not working at Terminal 5 and no idea when we will get a stand. Are we under cyber attack?’

Another passenger added: I’m at Terminal 5 your staff are telling me no flights going because the entire computer system is down here. Not just BA. They saying it’s probably down to Putin and cyber attacks.’

Photographs of departure boards in Terminal 5 showed few flights boarding.

Sophia Prout, 33, from London, waited in Terminal 5 for her BA flight to Lisbon, scheduled for 7.05pm, until it was cancelled just after 9pm.

She said it was ‘frustrating’ that technical issues were ongoing as she had been waiting for a total of four hours after checking in at around 5pm when only a few of the desks were working.

Ms Prout said she had arrived early because she could not check in online.

She said: ‘We’re lucky that we can turn around and go home if the flight gets cancelled, but would be nice to get an idea of when/if we will take off’.

It is BA’s second outage in 10 days.

The airline said: ‘We’re investigating and working hard to resolve a technical issue and apologise for the inconvenience.

‘We will provide further updates as quickly as possible’.

Heathrow Airport said: ‘Heathrow’s systems and air traffic control are operating as normal.

‘We are aware of a technical issue that @British-Airways are investigating and we will be working with them to provide updates to passengers as soon as they are available’.

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