Sheffield man left stranded in "chaos" of Heathrow without his luggage after British Airways' IT failure

Andrew Rudram (s)
Andrew Rudram (s)
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A Sheffield man was left stranded at Heathrow airport without his luggage after British Airways was hit by a computer system power failure on Saturday.

Andrew Rudram was travelling back from Moscow to Manchester, via Heathrow, when the passengers were told that both Heathrow and Gatwick were experiencing "IT problems".

The plane was delayed for an hour in Moscow before passengers waited another two hours on arrival at Heathrow as there was no gate available.

However, when Mr Rudram finally made it off the plane, he was informed by staff that his connecting flight to Manchester had been cancelled, along with all outbound flights.

Eventually, he decided his "best option" to escape the chaos was to take a coach back home without his luggage which was still in transit.

Mr Rudram said: "Some staff at the airport were apologetic about the situation but didn’t offer any solutions or provide any concrete information on what’s going on.

"They informed us that were pretty much on our own to sort out accommodation and onward arrangements.

"Because the system was down it was impossible to do so. Accommodation was scarce, as thousands were in the same situation so the only other option was to rent a car to drive back to Sheffield.

"After finding out that renting a car was expensive, around £100, the best option was to take a coach back home."

BA has apologised to customers for the issue, which is thought to have been caused by a problem with the IT system's power supply.

In a statement released on Sunday, chief executive Alex Cruz said: "I know this has been a horrible time for customers. We're not there yet, but we are doing our very best to sort things out for you."

Many passengers were forced to sleep on the floor in the airport following the failure, which coincided wiuth the first weekend of the half-term holiday for many in the UK.

Mr Rudram described the scene as "utter chaos" and criticised the lack of information provided by BA staff.

He said: "Heathrow was in utter chaos, people were stranded. Some staff suggested that passengers could camp out in terminal 3 while they resolve the IT problems.

"Because my bags were in transit, it’s been left there. I’ve tried contacted BA but they were unresponsive.

"We were told that we would get compensation for the delay and cancellations but that we don’t know how long that would take.

"It’s just a shame because there were a lot of families looking forward to flying out for bank holiday weekend and now they are spending their holiday inside an overcrowded airport terminal."