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British Airways cancels flights from London over IT failure

Air travelers faced delays Saturday because of a worldwide computer systems failure at British Airways, the airline said. | AP File Photo/Frank Augstein

British Airways canceled all flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday on a busy holiday weekend because of a global IT failure.

“We apologise for the current IT systems outage,” the airlines said on Twitter. “We are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”

The flights were canceled until at least 6 p.m. local time (1700 GMT.) because the “major IT systems failure” led to extreme congestion at the two major airports that serve London.

The airline urged passengers not to go to the airport. The shutdown is particularly problematic because it falls on a holiday weekend when thousands of Britons are traveling.

“We’ve tried all of the self-check-in machines. None were working, apart from one,” said Terry Page, booked on a flight to Texas. “There was a huge queue for it and it later transpired that it didn’t actually work, but you didn’t discover that until you got to the front.”

The airline did not say what caused the computer problem, only that it was working to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Contributing: Associated Press