British Airways passengers face Christmas holiday hell as a “technical” IT glitch causes long-haul flights

Thousands of British Airways passengers have been stranded around the world after dozens of long-haul flights were delayed and canceled just days before Christmas due to a technical fault.

Desperate customers trying to get home for Christmas – including actress Elizabeth Hurley – have been left “without food, water or hotels” after Multiple planes landed in the United States and the Caribbean before taking off Monday night.

The beleaguered airline had to apologize after canceling 15 flights from Heathrow Airport today and leaving families waiting for hours inside airports and on tarmac across Europe, the US and Asia.

Liz Hurley was among those sharing their frustrations on Twitter, telling fans she was stranded in Antigua and told she would have to wait 20 hours for the flight.

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Caught in the chaos, actress Liz Hurley tweeted that she would be waiting 20 hours for a flight

Actor Adam Woodyatt has expressed his frustration that his friend was left waiting nearly a week to get his bags

Actor Adam Woodyatt has expressed his frustration that his friend was left waiting nearly a week to get his bags

British Airways passengers awaiting flights last night were frustrated by a malfunctioning aircraft

British Airways passengers awaiting flights last night were frustrated by a malfunctioning aircraft

A video clip showed hundreds of bags piling up waiting to be returned to their owners in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport last night.

A video clip showed hundreds of bags piling up waiting to be returned to their owners in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport last night.

Some reported being held on the tarmac for hours while cabin crew and pilots were left to wait for flight plans to take them to their destinations, with photos showing people sleeping in the aisle of some planes.

Passengers landing at Heathrow Terminal 5 also faced long delays with their baggage, with EastEnders representative Adam Woodyatt complaining that a friend had been left waiting days for their bags to arrive.

The technical issue has caused significant delays to flights from the UK’s main airline, stranding passengers as at least nine long-haul flights to Heathrow were canceled last night and this morning.

Several other flights suffered long delays, including a flight from the US city of Philadelphia that was expected to land more than five and a half hours behind schedule.

Angry passengers took to Twitter to express their frustration, posting images of long queues and photos showing some people sleeping in the aisles of planes while waiting to take off.

Among those caught in the chaos is actress Elizabeth Hurley, who tweeted that she was left “stuck at Antigua airport” after her flight was “delayed for 20 hours.”

Others trying to catch flights reported being left waiting on the tarmac at New York’s JFK airport for more than four hours.

Photos taken on one of the flights show people sleeping in the aisle during the long takeoff delay

Photos taken on one of the flights show people sleeping in the aisle during the long takeoff delay

Passengers have taken to social media to complain about delays and cancellations to their flights

Passengers have taken to social media to complain about delays and cancellations to their flights

Author Colin Dickey said on Twitter: ‘The BA flight captain just said their flight computers were down for 2 hours all over the world and no BA plane could provide a flight plan? It doesn’t sound perfect. Anyway, just relaxing “on the tarmac here at JFK, being cool.”

He added: The British Airways system has been down globally for 3 hours now; The last time this happened (earlier this year, wtf), the captain said, it took 2-3 hours once the system was back online. (Put all of this here so people who are stranded can find it, in case it helps them.)

He later tweeted that the airline had “borrowed” an in-flight computer from Lufthansa, as his flight took off more than four hours later than scheduled.

Other passengers have reported delays across North America on flights that were supposed to depart from the likes of Toronto, Miami and Denver. Some were left looking forlorn at their planes as they were stuck on the tarmac.

Author Colin Dickey tweeted about his hours-long ordeal while waiting for his flight from JFK to take off

Author Colin Dickey tweeted about his hours-long ordeal while waiting for his flight from JFK to take off

There were also delays for passengers who arrived at Heathrow Terminal 5 last night, with Inside the building, hundreds of suitcases can be seen stacked in the baggage claim hall.

Lorna Bryant, who arrived at the airport last night, told MailOnline the situation had been a “nightmare”.

She said there were “hundreds, if not thousands, of bags lying in a heap, unattended, waiting to be loaded onto the conveyor belts”.

“We have just learned that baggage delays of more than 90 minutes are expected,” she said.

We were also late when we landed. The pilot explained that there was no crew willing to help them stop the plane. There are no shuttle buses ready to take us to the station either.

She added that there appeared to be “no crew at all”, and that “the pilot suggested we leave a bad review because they were tired of being delayed every time they landed at Heathrow”.

Video captured inside Terminal 5 last night shows hundreds of bags stacked in the baggage reclaim area

Video captured inside Terminal 5 last night shows hundreds of bags stacked in the baggage reclaim area

Passengers were seen waiting desperately as they were stuck for over an hour for their luggage

Passengers were seen waiting desperately as they were stuck for over an hour for their luggage

Actress Charlotte Kennedy said she was left waiting nearly a week for her luggage to arrive after her bag went missing at Heathrow.

She tweeted: ‘Hi again British Airways, I realize Heathrow is a bit of a mess right now but my bag is still there. It has been almost a week and there is no indication when he will arrive in Edinburgh. I’m running out of patience and my clothes are running out lol If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.

EastEnder actor Adam Woodyatt also took aim at the airline in support of his friends, writing: “Come on BA has a day or two bad enough, but a week is more than a joke.”

In a statement, BA said: ‘Our flights that were scheduled to depart the US tonight are currently delayed due to a technical issue with a third party flight planning resource, which we are urgently investigating.

“We regret any disruption this may cause to our customers’ plans, and our goal is for these flights to depart as quickly as possible.”

This is not a safety issue. The airline added that we are keeping our customers informed and providing them with refreshments.

In a statement released later in the night, she said: ‘Our teams have now resolved a temporary issue that affected some of our long haul flight planning systems overnight, resulting in delays in our schedule.

“We regret the disruption to our customers’ travel plans.”

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina has been contacted for comment on the delay in Terminal 5.

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