IT Network Glitches cause Heathrow Terminal 3 To Stall

The chaos and confusion around the launch of Heathrow's Terminal 5 might be long gone but it did not prevent Heathrow Terminal 3 from grinding to a halt yesterday afternoon due to issues happening to the baggage and check-in system.

The terminal, operated by BAA, was hit by a computer glitch and caused nearly 6000 passengers to be left stranded outside the building.

Two flights were cancelled - operated by Jet Airways and Thai Airways - and many other delayed after thousands of bags were not properly loaded on long-haul planes, with their owners unaware of the situation while some luggage might even be on wrong flights.

A source at Heathrow told Computerweekly that the problem might be down to the fact that Terminal 3 has two separate networks, a legacy network and a new one, adding "We think that a device was plugged into both networks and started to get some feedback and conflict with both of them. We have identified three potential devices, electrical components such as a switch."

The situation reverted back to normal this morning with BAA issuing an update saying that problems affecting the baggage system had now been solved.