Flights: Heathrow staff forced to write flight information on whiteboards as screens fail

Heathrow Airport experienced a major technology failure earlier today when its flight information screens stopped working, forcing staff to write details on whiteboards.

Hundreds of fliers were affected in the incident at Britain’s busiest airport this morning.

Heathrow encouraged affected fliers to use their website and app while the screens weren’t functioning. 

However, the technical issue has now been resolved and the screens are back up and working, the airport has now said.

Heathrow tweeted earlier today: “Good morning, our flight information screens are inactive this morning.

“Please use the Heathrow website or App on your mobile phone to keep updated. Heathrow colleagues are on hand to help you on your journey. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

Images posted by frustrated fliers at Heathrow show staff writing flight times on whiteboards, in scenes reminiscent of Gatwick’s similar technological meltdown in August. 

“Google Your Flight Number” Plan B in action at @HeathrowAirport,” one Twitter user posted.

“Humans had to jump in, by writing flight information with hands,” another tweeted.

Others were angry at the tech failure. “Absolute joke at Heathrow all screens down,” one passenger posted.

“Just landed from Abu Dhabi after three months away working, ground staff don’t have a clue and can’t tell me what gate my flight to Glasgow is #heathrowairport,”

A Heathrow spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “A connection issue temporarily affected some of our flight information screens at Heathrow this morning.

“Our teams worked quickly to resolve the issue and screens are now working as normal. Heathrow colleagues will remain on hand to help passengers if needed.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused this morning.”

With Heathrow being Britain’s busiest airport, the effects of such a tech glitch could prove much more serious than when the same issue occurred at Gatwick.

In August, Gatwick said its flight information screen crash was “due to an ongoing issue with Vodafone” – an IT provider for the airport.

In a tweet at the time, the airport said: “Due to damage to a Vodafone fibre optic cable, we are continuing to display our flight info manually.”

Heathrow travel is already disrupted today due to strikes on London Underground’s Piccadilly line.

The line that serves Heathrow is due to disrupt travel for tens of thousands of Londoners for three working days.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers launched the lengthy walkout after what the union said was a breakdown of industrial relations.

The current action is expected to run until Friday, with services resuming at some point on Friday afternoon.

If the strike runs for a full 48 hours, trains will begin to run again around 4pm on Friday, but don’t expect a smooth service for a few hours.

The travel disruption doesn’t stop there, however. There is a second strike due to begin at 8.30pm on Friday evening, resuming at some point on Saturday morning.

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