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British Airways won't reimburse stranded passengers for flights booked on other airlines


After British Airways' massive systems outage left more than 100,000 passengers without a flight, the company is drawing ire from customers for another reason.

British Airways said it would not pay for flights passengers had to book on other airlines to get to their final destination in light of the outage.

European passenger rights dictate that passengers on canceled flights are "entitled to re-routing under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity."

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport during a 48hr cabin crew strike in London. Air travelers faced delays Saturday, May 27, 2017 because of a worldwide computer systems failure at British Airways, the airline said. BA apologized in a statement for what it called an "IT systems outage" and said it was working to resolve the problem. It said in a tweet that Saturday's problem is global.????????(AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

The airline told passengers visiting its website: “We are very sorry for the disruption and frustration that you are experiencing. We thank you for your patience and understanding."

But passengers who tried to change their flights couldn't even do that. The airline was virtually unreachable during the outage, causing passengers to book elsewhere. British Airways said in a statement to passengers: 

"If we weren't able to offer a suitable alternative flight we would offer a full refund of any unused sectors on your booking with us, but any alternative flights booked via different carriers would be at your own expense and would have to be claimed back through travel insurance."

Customers were not too happy about this announcement.

One customer who'd spent 1,000 euro booking another flight told The Independent: "Do we lose this money even though British Airways was uncontactable? We couldn't enter the terminal, and the phone lines were shut."

Others took to Twitter to call out the airline.

The global computer outage affected call centers and the website and is estimated to have cost the airline 30 million pounds in revenue for each day.

As of Monday, the airline is closer to "full operational capacity" at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, according to a spokesperson for the airline.

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