British Airways makes three ‘flights to absolutely nowhere’ in one day
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Hundreds of passengers aboard three British Airways flights experienced U-turns due to technical problems at Heathrow airport.
On Saturday, a number of British Airways flights were made to turnaround and go essentially nowhere after air traffic control failures.
Two out of the three journeys were set to be long-haul flights, and the third was a Mediterranean Island service.
The aircrafts set for the long-haul flights were the Boeing 777 jets, while the other was an Airbus.
After taking off late at 2:47pm, while flying over Croatia, the aircraft was made to turnaround and return to Heathrow after just under four hours of flying.
The reason for this was believed to be an issue with the traffic collision avoidance system.
Passengers who were aboard the flight were put up in hotels in Heathrow for the night, and a replacement flight took off before 11am the next day.
The second U-turn involved a British Airways flight from Heathrow to Bastia, located on the French island on Corsica.
The flight had a third of its journey left to complete and had gotten all the way to Switzerland before it was made to turn back.
The flight took off the following day, delaying passengers by a total of 20 hours.
The third flight to be delayed was from Heathrow to Boston, but they only made it up in the air 16 minutes before the jet had to return back.
Congestion at the airport meant that the plane had to circle over Surrey before even touching down at Heathrow.
And on Sunday, a fourth British Airways departure from London City Airport to Malaga made a swift return just seven minutes after take-off, landing nine minutes later.
A British Airways spokesperson said to The Independent: "We are extremely sorry for the delay to our customers' journeys. We would never operate a flight unless it was safe to do so.”
Despite the annoyance of the situation, we're sure that we would much prefer to turn back than to be in the sky with a technical error, thank you very much!
The Independent has also estimated that if every passenger was to claim for compensation for their delays, which is around 700 people, it would cost British Airways around £650K... ouch!
This is not including the money spent on hotels for passengers, meals and fuel for the aircraft.
The faults seem to be a nationwide problem at the minute, as these are not the only flights that have been grounded in the last few weeks.
The National Air Traffic Controller Service (NATS) grounded all flights arriving to and departing from the UK on 28 August due to a 'technical issue' at traffic control, causing mass delays that went on for days.