BA hit by computer glitch, protesters 'occupy' London City airport

A computer glitch hit check-in times with check-in at Heathrow and Gatwick delayed.

British Airways Comair plane. Picture: Lina Lekgothwane.

LONDON - British Airways passengers were facing delays on Tuesday after a computer glitch hit check-in times while protesters at London City Airport forced their way onto the runway to disrupt flights.

British Airways, owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, apologised to customers for delays to their journeys and encouraged passengers to check in online before they reached the airport.

The airline said it was checking in customers at Heathrow and Gatwick airports near London although it said it was taking longer than usual.

It did not comment on social media reports of major delays at airports in San Francisco, Washington DC and Atlanta.

"Huge computer issue affecting British Airways across USA. Friend at #Dulles tells me pilots by gate but passengers still trying to check in!" Twitter user John Bevir wrote.

In London, City Airport in the east of the capital also delayed flights.

Protesters swam across a dock and "occupied" the runway at London City Airport. The campaign group Black Lives Matter said its activists were behind the protest.

"We're currently experiencing disruption to all flights due to protesters at the airport," City Airport said on Twitter. "Police are currently on the scene."