Wednesday, February 21

BA chaos destroys newlyweds £10k Maldives honeymoon



A newlywed couple were forced to abandon their dream honeymoon after British Airways’s IT system went into meltdown, with holidaymakers facing more chaos today.

Muhammad and Sanya Ismail, from Essex, were among thousands stranded when the airline’s check-in technology failed yesterday.

BA warned that passengers faced further disruption on Thursday after yesterday’s glitch led to almost 130 flights being cancelled and around 300 delayed.

Mr and Mrs Ismail were due to transfer from Italy to Heathrow before travelling to the Maldives for the second leg of their honeymoon yesterday.

© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Muhammad and Sanya Ismail were forced to abandon their dream honeymoon to the Maldives (Muhammad Ismail ) But they were stuck at Venice airport for 12 hours when BA’s online check-in system crashed, meaning they missed their connecting flight. They stayed in Paris last night after boarding a flight in a bid to return home but say the lost time means it is no longer viable for them to travel to the Maldives.

Mr Ismail, a 29-year-old lawyer, said he had worked overtime for a year to pay for the dream holiday. He added: “I’ve lost out on almost £10,000 and won’t be compensated a single penny.”

He said his wife, a 24-year-old paediatric nurse, had been crying for hours. The airline faced further complaints from holidaymakers who have been delayed today.

Passenger Laura Bettney said: “Terrible service from BA. You messed up both legs of our holiday with cancellations and delays and now you also appear to have lost our bags.”

© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Hundreds of passengers were stranded at Heathrow after British Airways’s IT failures (EPA)

Julie Raybould, who was due to fly to Edinburgh today, said on Twitter: “Delayed 17 hours. No help to get us a bed for the night, simply told to collect bags and sort ourselves out.”

BA could face a compensation bill in excess of £8 million if all those affected claim what they are entitled to under EU rules.

The problems mainly affected its three main London airports — Heathrow, Gatwick and London City. It is the third time in recent weeks that BA has experienced an IT meltdown.

It comes as passengers face further delays later this month as Ryanair pilots announced they would be striking in a row over pay and conditions. The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) will stage two walkouts on August 22-23 and September 2-4.