back to article That minutes-long power glitch? It's going to cost British Airways £80m, IAG investors told

The massive IT systems failure caused by a power surge at British Airways' primary data centre will cost the airline £80m. Willie Walsh, the chief executive of BA's parent body International Airlines Group, issued the news to a roomful of investors at the company's AGM this afternoon. The systems crash on the morning of May …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "despite major operational problems, by May 29 it was able to fly the vast majority of its planned schedule"

    Of course for all those caught up in it it meant that 100% of their flights failed to run on their planned schedule. It's far easier to put a positive spin on things if you ignore the effects on the victims.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      WW is only worried about the real victims - IAG's shareholders who might not award him a bonus this year.

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge

    That seems a very small number for all the chaos. Doesn't sound right...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There was an estimate of 120 million going around when it happened, could be they shaved off a bit here and there.

      Anyway, seems there is still no word on What Actually Happened. At least Russia isn't being blamed.

      1. James O'Shea

        "At least Russia isn't being blamed."

        Yet. Give them time.

  3. Gordan

    "emphasised that the failure "had absolutely nothing to do with changes to the way we resource our IT systems and services"."

    It might not have had anything to do with the _cause_ of the outage, but what effect did it have on the time required to recover the service into a sufficiently functioning state to resume operations? The outage lasted 3 days. Would it likely have been substantially shorter with more skilled staff closer to the problem?

    1. Melanie Winiger

      Exactly. I have no doubt the lack of experienced staff was a factor in the recovery time.

  4. Steven 1

    Oh dear, how sad

    Said nobody.

    1. John Riddoch

      Re: Oh dear, how sad

      Never mind...

  5. Tony S

    Uh oh..

    Earlier this week, it was revealed that BA plans to outsource call centre management to Capita.

    The agreement, which is yet to be finalised, will see 1,000 workers sent to Capita in a transfer of undertaking protection of employment (TUPE).

    Capita don't have a great reputation for providing good quality service. So BA are going to transfer more of their staff (who will probably quit as soon as they are able) and so have even less staff capable, able and willing to deal with issues.

    I just have this feeling that this is not going to end well for anyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uh oh..

      Have they forgotten Capita had an outage at the same time?

    2. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Uh oh..


      Can't we have a Stannis icon for this sort of thing?

      1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Uh oh..

        Can we have a Jenna Stannis icon instead?

      2. Sooty

        Re: Uh oh..

        Does this actually mean less capable staff, or fewer capable staff, the ambiguity of it all! :)

        I think less capable staff would be the worst of the two...

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Uh oh..

      "Capita don't have a great reputation for providing good quality service."

      Can we have an 'understatement of the flipping week' icon please?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Failure to prepare etc.

    DR prevention plan and testing = £100K

    No DR prevention plan and testing = £100m

    If IAG and BA can't work out those numbers why are they in business and why do they still have the same management?

    I suppose their next cost saving measure will equal £100m so as to balance the books. Perhaps their creditors should be applying some due diligence before it happens again and they lose their investment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Failure to prepare etc.

      Came here to say this

      We all know the PPPPPP..... If an engineer unplugging a power cable (Cliche, I know) and plugging it back again caused the outage, then resiliency, or the lack of it is the underlying problem.

      However, the lack of DR is much more worrying...

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: Failure to prepare etc.

      Yes, I agree. But the 100k affects my bonus, the 100m is someone else's problem.

      Simple really.

    3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: Failure to prepare etc.

      No DR prevention plan and testing = £100m

      NOTE: I'm going to presume that the £80m value was done correctly (no creative accounting involved).

      £80m is a value BA could probably claim, partially, from insurance. So here's the reality of having a DR site:

      1. How often does an issue EXACTLY like what just happened is going to happen?

      2. How much does it cost to run a fully redundant DR site annually?

      Now which has a lower figure? Option 1 or Option 2? The answer is, most likely, Option 1.

      Because of this, BA will not be implementing a DR in the foreseeable future.

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: Failure to prepare etc.

        Well their insurance costs will rocket - possibly become unaffordable unless they can demonstrate measures to improve resilience and DR. Secondly, their reputation is suffering badly - they are protected, for the moment, by their historical status and position (i.e. owning slots at Heathrow) - the reputation loss must be damaging in both the medium and long term, I am not aware the 80M covers that?

  7. Dave 15


    Are they off their heads? What about the people who look at the shambles and book with ryan air... who don't seem to have the same level of disaster

    1. John R. Macdonald

      Re: 80million?

      Not to mention on Ryanair you may even get to enjoy a lap dance.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: 80million?

        80 million is the direct losses. The losses to reputation and the following lost business are probably worth the same again (if not more), but since you cant lose what you dont get in the first place, management will always claim they havent lost anything more then that...

    2. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: 80million?

      Until Ryanair does and they then turn around and tell you to bog off, forget compensation or rebooking, and buy a new ticket. Swings and roundabouts, my friend, swings and roundabouts.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's 6,596,072,203.90 Rupees if they cross charge it.

  9. Cynic_999

    Why fly B.A.?

    If you are going to get crap service anyway, you may as well get cheap crap service instead of expensive crap service.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IAG CEO: 'technician was authorised to be in the room but wasn't authorised to do what he did"


    ....."You could cause a mistake to disconnect the power - it's difficult for me to understand how you can mistakenly reconnect the power".....


    Could have swore BA was a global airline... Surely there were 10 other global data-centers to take over? Its a feeble response. Just seems like Willie Walsh is out of his depth. BA/IAG too busy outsourcing rest of IT!

  11. 0laf


    I saw figures of £150M just for the compensation and £500M off the share value and none of those take into account the loss of future business by people royally pissed off by BA.

    I haven't mentioned reputational damage since I'm not sure there was really much left to lose.

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