Heathrow airport was beset by more check-in computer problems yesterday after network issues caused two flights from Terminal 3 to be cancelled.

The system failed at 4pm yesterday afternoon delaying international flights from the terminal and cancelling two flights. News agencies claimed 6000 passengers were delayed from entering the building.
A spokesperson for Heathrow operator BAA said the problem was rectified overnight and that all flights today are back on schedule. BAA also confirmed that those passengers delayed at Terminal 3 were able to board later flights. But the operator has warned travellers that some luggage may have been placed on the wrong flights.

BAA has suffered a difficult 2008 with the much publicised failures of the Terminal 5 building in March, which from day one suffered a series of technical problems with its check-in system, as well as other IT related services. T5, a single terminal for all British Airways flights, was intended to have taken all BA flights out of the other Heathrow terminals before this summer. BA has now announced that it will not fully move into the new terminal until the end of October.

BA ceo Willie Walsh was summoned to the Commons Transport Select Committee in May. He said that he regretted not delaying the opening of Terminal 5 and that the major IT problems had been caused by a message filter being accidentally left on after software testing, this interrupted genuine messages and caused the IBM and Vanderlande Industries developed systems to break down. Poor staff training was also cited by Walsh as a problem. Paul Coby, BA CIO apologised in public for the check in problems.

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