Frustrated British Airways passengers travelling to Israel have described how they were caught up in the chaos caused by the airline’s major computer failure
BA was forced to ground every one of its lights from Heathrow and Gatwick on Saturday, after a suspected power supply issue, with cancellations and delays stretching into Sunday.
Four flights from Heathrow to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv were cancelled on Saturday, while 10 flights in total over the weekend were affected, disrupting the travel plans of up to an estimated 5,000 passengers.
After their Saturday afternoon flight to Tel Aviv was cancelled Joel Freeman and his partner Hazel Mulhare, from north London, were told by BA that they could either fly to Israel on Tuesday morning or to Amman, in Jordan, on Sunday.
They were travelling to Israel to celebrate Ms Mulhare’s 30th birthday. They arrived at 7am UK time on Monday morning.
Ms Mulhare said: “(We) phoned up Sunday morning and was told that we could fly Tuesday morning. They said if we wanted to fly on Sunday we could fly to Amman but would have to make our own way to Tel Aviv.
“We ended up doing that. The flight was two hours late, so we missed the Amman airport hotel booking we had made ourselves and had to wait around until the 7am flight to Tel Aviv (on Monday morning). We had to pay £300 for this ourselves.”
American businessmen Mike Greenberg and Ryan Cantor were due to fly from Texas to Tel Aviv via Heathrow, but got stranded in London at 1pm on Saturday after their connecting flight was grounded.
Mr Greenberg, 30, said he and Mr Cantor then had to book hotel rooms in central London while they waited for an El Al airlines flight the following day.
He said: “It was chaos at the airport with people crying, stranded and not knowing what was happening.
“Myself and my boss Ryan were in a much better situation than most others because we were able to book a hotel and get out on El Al the next day.”
The pair arrived in Tel Aviv at approximately 10.30pm on Sunday.