LONDON - British Airways passengers travelling from London for their holidays have been hit by cancellations and delays after a systems failure.

London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports were affected by the glitch on Wednesday morning. The problem was not a global problem, British Airways said.

However, passengers were warned that the disruption would likely have knock-on effects at airports across the UK and Europe. British Airways flights were cancelled or delayed at airports in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.

Customers have experienced difficulties checking in online, while queues have formed in airport departure areas as staff struggled to check in passengers.

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The airline said it has moved to back-up manual systems to keep some flights operating. As well as check-in, some systems allowing aircraft to depart were affected.

Air travel experts said the airline may be liable to pay compensation to affected passengers, on top of refunding them the ticket price. Under EU law, some passengers whose flights are cancelled or delayed by two hours or more can be given compensation.

British Airways said it was offering customers the chance to move bookings to another travel day between 8-13 August.

About half of the British Airways flights scheduled to depart from Heathrow’s terminal 5 between 9.30am and midday were cancelled or delayed, according to the airport’s website.

In a statement, the airline said: “We are working as quickly as possible to resolve a systems issue which has resulted in some short-haul cancellations and delays from London airports.

“A number of flights continue to operate but we are advising customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information before coming to the airport.”(FA)