After three days of delays and cancellations, British Airways scheduled a return to normal on Tuesday flights from Heathrow airport, Europe’s largest, but many baggage remained unpaid.
The company, affected by a giant computer failure during the three-day weekend, said it would maintain the “full program” of its scheduled flights Tuesday at Heathrow and Gatwick, the other major airport in London.
“Our computer system is fully functional and we will operate the entire program at Heathrow and Gatwick,” BA said in a statement.
But “there is still work” to get all the missing baggage to the passengers, acknowledged the British company.
“Even though we have already packed a lot of luggage at the different airports, a significant number of passengers are still waiting to pick up their own. We are deeply sorry for the frustration caused at this busy time of the year with vacationing, “BA said, while Monday was a holiday in the UK.
On Monday, seventeen flights to European destinations had yet to be canceled. The weekend had been particularly chaotic with tens of thousands of passengers being victims of hundreds of cancellations of flights piling up in the halls of London airports in search of information.
British Airways was also accused on Tuesday of charging up to 62 pence per minute calls to a helpline.
BA also announced that it processed customer refund claims that could not travel.
According to some studies, the computer breakdown may have cost up to £ 100 million, at a time when the profits of its parent company IAG are due in particular to the weak pound.
“Worse are the consequences in terms of reputation for the brand,” warns Neil Wilson, an analyst at ETX Capital.
According to him, “serious questions arise about the cost reductions decided by IAG boss Willie Walsh, when a computer problem had already occurred in September”.
However, this weekend’s “fiasco” suggests that Mr. Walsh, who specializes in cutting costs, “went too far,” the analyst concludes.
British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz said on Monday that the giant breakdown had nothing to do with a reduction in costs, excluding any resignation.
The GMB, for its part, considered that the problem could have been avoided if BA had not cut the workforce of IT specialists in the UK and relocated jobs in India.
These fears pushed investors to sanction the group on the London Stock Exchange, the title of IAG’s parent company losing 2.61% on the UK market which reopened after a three-day weekend.
The stock however limited its losses a little after falling 4.5% in the first exchanges.
The day before, the share had already lost 2.78% on the Madrid Stock Exchange where it is also listed since the IAG group is also the parent company of Iberia.