For BA, a £100m compensation bill could be just the start

Abysmal handling of the IT failure that saw tens of thousands stranded and delayed means the airline will struggle to put the shine back on its brand

Paul Sutherland is not a man you’d want to mess about. The martial arts instructor, 44, had woken early on the last Saturday in May and checked in on his phone for his British Airways flight to Stockholm, where he was due to officiate at a night of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bouts. By 7.30am, he had packed his suitcase, complete with laptop and paperwork, into the boot of his car and left his home in Gloucester, picking up two colleagues en route for the 98-mile drive to Heathrow.

But just as Sutherland was coming off the M4 at 9.30am, something was going haywire in BA’s nerve centre: a power outage that would mean Sutherland, and 75,000 other passengers, would get no further than the departure lounge.

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