British Airways outage: The reason revealed

Insurers have been up in arms over the firm’s handling of claims – and now their fury has been pushed further by the reason for the outage

British Airways outage: The reason revealed

Insurance News

By Paul Lucas

The British Airways power outage has had insurers up in arms with the airline’s website prompting customers to “make a claim with the travel insurer in the first instance,” – and now the issue is likely to prompt even more fury as the reason behind the meltdown is revealed.

According to Willie Walsh, chief executive of parent IAG SA, an engineer had disconnected the power supply at a data center close to Heathrow Airport and that prompted a surge when it was reconnected – grounding at least 75,000 passengers.

The engineer was authorized to be on site “but not to do what he did,” according to Walsh, speaking to the BBC. Now an independent investigation is under way.

Reports by Bloomberg estimate the cost of the meltdown to be in the region of 100 million euros (approximately $112 million), placing further pressure on the company’s chief Alex Cruz who had been looking to reduce costs since taking over a year ago.

The issue has also prompted a strong reaction from the Association of British Insurers in the UK which last week filed a complaint against the airline stating it was not providing proper and accurate claims information and that it was complicating the whole process for passengers.

“Any cover under travel insurance will kick in only if compensation is not available from any other source,” it said.

“People affected by the disruption should be able to claim compensation and refunds for any expenses as simply as possible, not be passed from pillar to post. EU flight compensation regulations set out that airline operators should provide compensation to passengers that suffer long delays or cancellations.”

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