A major IT glitch that sparked disruption for thousands of British Airways passengers today has been resolved, the airline said.

Tens of thousands of holidaymakers are still stranded after more than 100 British Airways flights were cancelled and hundreds more delayed.

Around 20,000 passengers suffered cancellations after the airline halted 117 flights due to operate to or from Heathrow. Another ten were cancelled from Gatwick. 

But this afternoon the airline said the problem had been resolved. However the backlog could still take several days to clear.

Passengers queue at Heathrow (PA)

The airline said in a statement: “We have resolved the temporary systems issue from this morning which affected a number of our flights today.

“We apologise to all our customers caught up in the disruption, and appreciate how frustrating their experience has been.  

“Our teams have been working tirelessly to get the vast majority of customers on their way, with most of our flights departing. 

“Our flights are returning to normal, however there may be some knock-on operational disruption as a result of the issue earlier.

Closed check-in desks at Heathrow Airport (SplashNews.com)

“We continue to advise customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information before coming to the airport.”

Customers at Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle airports were told to ‘go home.’ and reschedule flights.

127 flights were cancelled due to the major IT outage (PA)

The IT problems sparked delays of up to five hours and caused 127 flights to be cancelled. 20,000 customers were stranded with their holiday plans ruined.

The statement added that flights are “returning to normal” but warned there may be some “knock-on operational disruption”.

“Our teams have been working tirelessly to get the vast majority of customers on their way, with most of our flights departing,” a statement added. 

Passengers were urged to check ba.com for the latest flight information before going to the airport.

There were long queues of passengers at Heathrow and error messages on the BA app as some services lagged more than five hours behind schedule.

The airline was forced to use back-up and manual systems in a bid to cope with the problem.

Disrupted customers may be able to receive compensation but must write a letter of complaint to the airline to claim this. 

If a journey is delayed by more than three hours due to a factor within the airline’s control – such as technical faults or overbooking – there are fixed levels of compensation that can be claimed.

The amount ranges from 250 euros (£230) for short-haul flights delayed by at least three hours, to 600 euros (£553) for long-haul flights delayed by at least four hours.

It is not the first time IT systems have caused substantial issues for BA. 

A major computer failure hit the airline over spring bank holiday weekend in May 2017, standing tens of thousands of passengers and costing owner AIG around £80 million.

The airline cancelled 726 flights due to a power failure.

This prompted a raft of compensation claims for flight costs, train and hotel expenses, replacement clothes and toiletries.

Additional reporting by PA. 

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