UK flight delays - technical problem blamed

National Air Traffic spokesman: 'we don't know when this will be rectified'

By Sharron Livingston on 07 December 2013 in Travel Articles

Passengers are facing delayed flights at airports both in the UK and Ireland because of a fault in their communications system.

London airports are the wort affected and there have been cancellations to ten airports including Nice, Geneva and Istanbul.

Passengers are given updates are every half an hour but as yet there no word as to when the problem will be resolved.

Some flights are being boarded with no flight take-off time in the hope that a slot may become available.

Heathrow is becoming clogged because inbound flights are finding it difficult to land and park because outbound flights are occupying the gates. Some long-haul flights including China and India may be diverted to a continental airport.

NATS say they are supplying a service using their night-time system as their day-time configuration is faulty which affects the ability to open more control positions. This means fewer flights are able to leave.

Although there are delays they say that “safety has not been compromised at any time”.

Passengers who have been affected may be able to claim compensation from their travel insurance. However as this is not the fault of the airlines passengers will not be eligible for any compensation.



Check the status of your flight from StanstedHeathrow Gatwick.

16.00 The technical fault should be resolved by 18.00

19.00  Still no clear sign about when the technical fault will be resolved. Expect Delays

19.05 Cancellations have already started for tomorrow. BA will be contacting their passengers.

19.06 Easyjet are the only airline to have avoided cancellations

19.30 The fault has been fixed but the rolling delays continue tomorrow




Kashyap Bhattacharya, Edinburgh

Flight to Gatwick from Madeira now been delayed for 4 hours because the NATS 'Internal' phone system is not working... Just when you thought you had seen it all.... Lots of stressed, tired passengers around.

8 December, 2013

Rupert Parker, Palma Mallorca

Plane arrived and they've boarded us but now the captain says we have to wait three hours before we can take off. He wants everyone here just in case he suddenly gets an earlier slot. Some people are opting to go back to the terminal but have been warned they might miss the flight. Babies are screaming their unhappiness in my ear.

7 December, 2013

Fashionalities, Tucson, USA

My husband was headed home frm Germany doing training 4 #usaf after 3 mnths & now trying 2 figure out what will happen.

7 December, 2013

Rupert Parker, Palma Mallorca

All flights to UK delayed - Stansted Southend Liverpool and Glasgow all stricken. My.flight to Stansted due to leave 30 minutes ago but now they say it will be at least an hour before plane arrives. EASYJET will not provide refreshments until 3 hours have elapsed.

7 December, 2013

Karen Bryan, UK

Karen Bryan @karenbryan
Air traffic control delays a pain already 90 min delay on EDI to Gran Canaria flight

7 December, 2013

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