British Airways canceled all of its flights from two of London’s biggest airports Saturday after its global computer system failed, causing intense turmoil.
Terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become so congested from virtual collapse that the airliner is pleading with people scheduled to travel not to come to the transportation hubs at all.
“We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide,” the company said in a statement, according to CBS. “The terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested … so please do not come to the airports.” (RELATED: Massive Cyber Attack Reportedly Hits 16 British Health Facilities, Causing Chaos In Emergency Rooms)
Thousands of would-be travelers, though, are stuck in limbo at the terminals, causing confusion and chaos.
— Lee Warner (@LeeJWarner) May 27, 2017
Sat on plane at Heathrow for hour and a half now. @British_Airways Captain describes IT problem as “catastrophic”. Can we revert to manual?
— Martyn Kent (@martyn_kent) May 27, 2017
— Anna Anisin (@AnnaOnTheWeb) May 27, 2017
Due to the immense disorder and inconvenience, British Airways is offering its customers full refunds or a rescheduling option, according to BBC News.
We apologise for the current IT systems outage. We are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
— British Airways (@British_Airways) May 27, 2017
Aside from the most recent disaster, this specific airliner has experienced five IT system crashes in just the last year, according to TechCrunch. Other airliners have not reported any problems with their own computers systems.
The cyber breakdown in the U.K. comes roughly a day after the country lowered its terrorism threat from “critical” to “severe.” The government decreased the ranking after arresting further suspects in the Manchester bombing that occurred Monday and killed at least 22 people. (RELATED: ISIS Claims Responsibility For Manchester Bombing)
While the company says it does not believe the malfunctioning is due to an intentional cyber attack, the debacle exemplifies how vital virtual infrastructures are to the processes of everyday life.
It is not yet clear when the situation will be resolved, as British Airways has not disclosed this information.
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