UPDATE: Airport passengers facing check-in chaos at Heathrow and Gatwick

Picture: Matthew Walker/PA Wire
Picture: Matthew Walker/PA Wire
Arch Deacon with his petiton against mixed-sex wards

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  • Passengers left stranded for hours at airports
  • Business as usual for airport taxi companies in Portsmouth
  • British Airways urging people to check-in before getting to airport
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Passengers from Portsmouth are among those experiencing major check-in delays at Heathrow and Gatwick this morning because of an IT glitch.

British Airways has apologised to angry passengers left stranded for hours at airports but has insisted it is not a worldwide problem.

But airport taxi companies from the city have said it has been business as normal this morning, with drivers reporting few problems while taking passengers to airports.

BA is urging flyers to check-in before they get to the airport while the glitch is fixed.

A spokeswoman confirmed that passengers were being checked in but the process would be “a bit slower than usual.”

The company added in a statement: “We would encourage customers to check in online before they reach the airport.

“We are sorry for the delay to their journeys.”

When asked where the IT problems were, the spokeswoman said: “It is patchy.”

Angry travellers have been taking to Twitter to complain, with reports that water was being served to people in queues and staff writing boarding passes manually on clipboards to give to travellers.

Passengers travelling to the two airports from Portsmouth have been warned to check ahead before making the journey.

A spokesman for Pete’s Airlink, a minibus company based in Waterlooville, said they had not spoken to any of their drivers about the delays.

He added: “If customers have a delay at the airport then it doesn’t usually affect us at all.”

An employee from Smiths for Airports also said they had not received any reports of problems from drivers this morning.

It is not the first time this year the airline has had to apologise for IT glitches.

In July it faced criticism from passengers after delays caused by the new check-in system.

BA began installing the new system at airports across the world last October and the rollout was completed earlier this year.

Passengers at London City Airport were also grounded after protestors from Black Lives Matter stormed the runway this morning.

The Press Association reported that police had arrested all nine activists on suspicion of aggravated trespass, being unlawfully air-side and breaching airport by-laws, police said.

The group had locked themselves together after apparently swimming across the Thames to get to the site.

Have you been affected by the check-in delays? You can share your experience by calling us on 0239 2622114 or emailing kieran.davey@jpress.co.uk.