A technical glitch at British Airways check-in desks has affected thousands of passengers around the world.
Major UK airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester have been affected with passengers facing delays and a much slower check-in process. The system failures have also affected passengers further afield, with The Seattle Times reporting that passengers at San Francisco International Airport are included in those affected.
This sort of issue isn’t unknown to BA who had to apologise in July 2016 after a check-in glitch of a similar type delayed passengers.
Bott and Co data shows that over 75,000 passengers could be affected by this latest check-in glitch.
Bott and Co data shows that over 75,000 passengers could be affected by this latest check-in glitch. BA operate over 500 flights a day that depart from the United Kingdom and on average each carries approximately 130 passengers – with the potential for more flights to be affected throughout the week.
Many of the people affected may be unaware of their passenger rights or that they may be entitled to monetary compensation.
The aircraft affected will be scheduled to operate other flights throughout the world, and passengers sat in destinations in Europe and North America will find their flights delayed or cancelled while British Airways deal with the logistics of getting these flights back on track. The amount of passengers suffering from the knock-on effects is difficult to estimate, but could easily be in the hundreds of thousands.
British Airways has apologised to passengers facing delays to their journeys and have said that passengers are now able to check in at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports “although it is taking longer than usual”. The airline has also said that it would “encourage customers to check in online before they reach the airport.”
Passenger rights to claim compensation
Bott and Co says that many of the people affected may be unaware of their passenger rights or that they may be entitled to monetary compensation.
EU Regulation 261/2004 was introduced to help compensate passengers for the loss of time and inconvenience suffered when they have experienced a flight delay of more than three hours or flight cancellation when departing the EU, or arriving on an EU airline and if the delay is not due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’.
Care and assistance
Airlines also have a legal obligation to provide passengers with care and assistance when a flight has been delayed for over two hours as set out in Article 9 of EU Regulation 261/2004. This provides airline passengers who are delayed with a guaranteed level of ‘care and assistance’ including free food and drink, two free telephone calls and hotel accommodation and transfers if needed.
Delayed passengers can download a copy of our care and assistance flashcard that clearly states what the airlines must provide legally to passengers in these situations.
Coby Benson, Bott and Co flight delay lawyer and legal expert spoke today about passenger rights in this sort of incident:
“We’ve seen a couple of incidents similar to this throughout the summer and the message is clear – passengers are entitled to compensation for incidents of this nature where the delay is longer than three hours.
Airlines frequently argue that this is not their fault…but these arguments fundamentally misunderstand the legal test.
Airlines frequently argue that this is not their fault, that a third party was at fault, that this could not be predicted, but these arguments fundamentally misunderstand the legal test.
A European Court of Justice Judgment confirmed that the correct course of action is for the airline to compensate passengers, and that they should then seek redress from the third party responsible. This regulation is designed to provide a high level of protection for passengers and airlines should keep this in mind at all times.”