British Airways travelers face third day of delays, cancellations

People wait with their luggage at the British Airways check in desks at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London, Britain May 28, 2017.

Neil Hall

Last Updated May 29, 2017 8:57 AM EDT

LONDON -- Travelers with airlines in the British Airways group faced a third day of delays and cancellations, mainly on short-haul routes and in smaller numbers than over the weekend, when the company suffered a colossal IT failure.

BA chief executive Alex Cruz said late Sunday the airline was running a "near-full operation" at London's Gatwick Airport and planned to operate all scheduled long-haul services from Heathrow. But he said there would still be delays, as well as some canceled short-haul flights.

Data from flight tracker flightaware.com showed BA's sister airlines in Spain, Iberia and Air Nostrum, cancelled over 300 flights on Monday, a bank holiday in the U.K. that sees a high level of air travel.

BA itself canceled another 27 flights and had 56 more delayed.

There had been accusations of greed on the part of the airline from some, including the GMB trade union, who said that the problems which crippled the airline over the weekend could have been avoided if not for the outsourcing of many IT roles to India in 2016. 

On Monday, BA CEO Alex Cruz responded to those claims, telling Sky News, "I can confirm that all the parties involved around this particular event have not been involved in any type of outsourcing in any foreign country. They have all been local issues around a local data center who has been managed and fixed by local resources." 

The airline canceled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick Saturday after the weekend IT outage, which it blamed on a power-supply problem. The glitch threw the plans of thousands of travelers into disarray, on what is a holiday weekend in Britain.

BA operates hundreds of flights from Heathrow and Gatwick on a typical day - and both are major hubs for worldwide travel.

Passengers - some of whom had spent the night at the airport - faced frustrating waits to learn if and when they could fly out.

"Everyone is upset. There's people in tears," said Melanie Ware, who flew in from Los Angeles and was trying to get to Venice on her honeymoon.

"We rebooked for Venice for tonight, which they also have canceled now," she told Sky News. "So we have no way of getting out of Heathrow and they haven't compensated us for anything, and we're stuck and this is the worst honeymoon ever.

"British Airways has ruined our honeymoon."

While not that frequent, when airline outages do happen, the effects are widespread, high-profile and can hit travelers across the globe.

BA passengers were hit with severe delays in July and September 2016 because of problems with the airline's online check-in systems.

In August 2016, Delta planes around the world were grounded when an electrical component failed and led to a shutdown of the transformer that provides power to the airline's data center. Delta said it lost $100 million in revenue as a result of the outage.