British Airways live news: Bank holiday travel chaos as BA cancels flights and RAC issues warning

UK: System failure at British Airways causes chaos at Heathrow Airport

Thousands of people are expecting their holiday plans to be thrown into chaos as British Airways was forced to cancel scores of flights due to an IT failure.

At least 156 flights, mostly domestic and European, were canceled on Thursday and Friday. The Independent calculated as BA struggles to function without essential systems.

With many planes fully booked at the start of the bank holiday weekend, the number of passengers affected is likely to be in excess of 25,000, with many more planes severely delayed and missing connecting flights in what is expected to be the busiest weekend since 2019.

Citing forecasts of above-average temperatures, car group RAC said it expected the bank holiday to be “a hectic time on main roads” with motorists expected to make more than 19 million leisure trips over the last long weekend before August – the most of them since before the Pandemic.

While analysts Inrix are forecasting severe delays on the M25, M5 and M6 routes, rail passengers face strike-free bank holidays as very little major technical work is planned.


“Many will have traveled pointlessly to the airport”

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travelgave his take on the cancellations this morning after noting that “British Airways’ annual IT meltdown appears to have arrived on time”.

He writes, “BA has given passengers little or no notice of this, leaving many pointlessly traveling to the airport, making the whole thing all the more frustrating.”

Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 12:51


Delays are reported on the M3 due to road congestion

Here’s an update on the roads from our deputy travel editor Benjamin Parkers:

Delays of at least 10 minutes were reported on the M3 throughout the morning, with a collision at Junction 13 (Northbound) making matters worse. Those wishing to take other routes, such as via Eastleigh, are warned there may be a 20-minute delay through the city.

M3 traffic has backed up on the M27 in both directions with queues lasting 15 minutes.

The A27 bottleneck at Arundel is causing delays and around Brighton and Hove there are reports of slow moving or stationary traffic on the A27 – queues forming.

The M25, the UK’s busiest motorway, experiences congestion at several points including miles at junction 10 (A3/Guildford). There is also congestion on both sides of the carriageway near junction 15 (for the M4) and junction 16 for the M40.

Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 12:38 p.m


Strike by security staff at Heathrow is overshadowed by BA cancellations

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder The latest on industrial action in the travel sector:

Partly due to cancellations by British Airways, the second day of a strike by security staff at Terminal 5, BA’s main base, had little effect.

Travel is going smoothly at other leading airports – with the main issue in Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow being the cancellation of BA flights to and from Heathrow.

Edinburgh Airport staff have voted decisively to strike over pay, but no industrial action has yet been called.

Unite union clearly expects airport bosses to come back with an improved offer – but warns of “travel chaos” in the summer if there is a strike. The airport says it has already submitted a “fair and generous” compensation proposal.

Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 12:13 p.m


BA cancellations will cost many millions – but not on the scale of 2017’s public holiday IT outage

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder Reports:

BA’s cancellations are not as big as they were on Bank Holiday in late May 2017, when another IT glitch resulted in the airline’s all operations at Heathrow and Gatwick being halted. But the cost in terms of lost sales, hotel costs and passenger compensation will run into many millions of pounds.

Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 12:03


Holidaymakers had to queue at airports due to cancellations over bank holiday weekends

Holidaymakers queued at airports this morning as British Airways cancellations hit what is expected to be the busiest weekend for aviation since 2019.

Here are the queues at Manchester Airport Terminal 2:

(Ioannis Alexopoulos/LNP)

Passengers also waited in long lines at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 for rebookings as British Airways canceled dozens of flights.

Still long queues at Heathrow Terminal 5 as British Airways customers on canceled flights wait to be rebooked


Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 11:26 am


DVLA issues urgent health warning to UK drivers

With millions of drivers set to take to the streets this bank holiday weekend, the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) will reportedly update its guidance for drivers with eye conditions “within weeks”.

The agency is said to have taken the step after the Association of Optometrists (AOP) raised “serious concerns” about the published list of reportable health conditions last year. It claimed it was “so comprehensive that it could apply to almost any driver who gets an eye test.”

In response, the AOP claims that the DVLA has agreed to a revision of the list and updated guidance is to be released “in the coming weeks.”

Oliver Pritchard-Jones has the full report:

Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 11:14 am


One hour waits for tourist cars and coaches in the ‘busy’ port of Dover

The Port of Dover is said to be “busy” as predicted but is handling traffic “well”, with hour-long queues for tourist cars and coaches waiting to cross the English Channel.

Here are some pictures from the port:

Traffic jams for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent


Lorries are queuing along the A20 in Kent for the Port of Dover as the half term and bank holiday getaway begins


Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 11:03 am


According to the AA, 17 million motorists are expected to take to the streets as fuel prices fall

In a slightly lower forecast than the RAC, the AA expects 17 million motorists to take to the roads this weekend as motorists benefit from lower fuel prices.

“With fuel prices in some areas hitting their lowest levels since October 2021, many motorists may want to take advantage of the drop in prices and head out onto the open road. This, combined with the school semester break, will likely result in much heavier traffic on the roads than normal, particularly near recreational attractions and parks,” the AA said.

“For those lucky enough to take a road trip abroad, the key ports, particularly Dover, where Operation Brock is taking place, as well as Portsmouth and Hull, will see an increase in traffic so it’s important to plan ahead and looking for trips.” updates and by keeping enough food and drink in your car in case you do experience long delays.”

Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel prices spokesman, added: “Lower service station prices, with diesel down 50p this week from last summer’s peak to below 150p a liter and petrol normally at 143p a liter, will be seen not just lure more holiday drivers onto the road.” but make sure more of their spending goes to tourism and not the fuel trade.

“Nevertheless, the often large price differences depending on the gas station confuse many drivers.”

Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 10:31 am


RAC warns there could be “more avoidable shortfalls” in the cost of living over the ‘busy’ weekend

The RAC has warned that the cost of living crisis could mean more breakdowns on what is reportedly the busiest bank holiday weekend at the end of May on Britain’s roads since before the pandemic.

“With so many homes under financial pressure, we worry that a lack of basic maintenance could result in more preventable outages than we would normally see,” said RAC breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis.

“That’s why we’re reminding everyone to make sure their cars are as ready for a trip as possible – if a vehicle hasn’t had a service recently, this is the week to have the service done by a qualified professional.

He added: “Regardless of whether a car has had a recent service or not, a quick look at the oil and coolant levels and checking that the tires are in good condition and properly inflated can go a long way towards to avoid an unwelcome roadside stop.” this weekend.”

Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 10:20 am


RAC warns motorists ahead of busiest late May bank holiday since 2019

Car group RAC has warned of a “busy time on main roads” as motorists are expected to make more than 19 million leisure trips over the bank holiday weekend, which would be the most since 2019.

RAC breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Thankfully, with the travel restrictions imposed during the Corona crisis long in the future, it is clear that motorists’ desire to escape has been revived. Our numbers for the coming weekend suggest leisure traffic levels will be around the same as what we last saw in 2019.

“With the Met Office currently forecasting largely calm weather with above-average temperatures, we expect this to be a hectic time on the high streets as people try to make the most of the last long weekend before August – and that means it is There was a lot going on for our patrols too.”

Andy GregoryMay 26, 2023 10:12 am

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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