Empty stage after Cocksparrer cancels at PSK after British airways cancels all fights. Photo by Mats Andersswon, http://www.bubbelbubbel.se

A statement from Cocksparrer

In News by Mats Andersson

PSK, Sweden. We’re really sorry but unfortunately we are unable to get to Sweden today for our show in Stockholm. This is the first time in 45 years that we have missed a show and we’re absolutely gutted.

It’s been a really stressful day at the airport. British Airways ended up cancelling ALL their flights due to a problem with their systems worldwide. However, we had already managed to get checked in and our bags and guitars taken from us and put on the plane ready to leave. The plane had a full crew and the pilot wanted to take off. They even sent 2 buses to drive us to the plane, so we thought our flight would make it. However, at the last minute they cancelled EVERYTHING.

Then came the real problems of trying to get out of the airport. Suddenly thousands and thousands of people needed to leave and it was chaos. There was no help, no information and a lot of stress. No staff knew what was happening. We were getting updates from the BBC News channels who knew more than the people in the airport!

For all our friends in Sweden, we are truly sorry to have let you down. We will make it up to you. The festival are working on a solution. At the moment it’s early days, however they have said to keep your wristbands and await further news. To British Airways, we appreciate that this is not a usual situation, however you judge a company on how it deals with these things and frankly it was at best inadequate and at worst negligent. You cancelled flights and sent people to exits before the exits were even staffed, just leading to more confusion and delay. You had no-one on the ground giving any guidance or information. We appreciate that it is a ‘live’ situation which can change rapidly, however the BBC announced that all flights were cancelled a full hour before any of your staff knew at the gates.

We were all showing British Airways staff what was going on with their own company and the statements you’d made to the press BEFORE it had filtered down to the people on the frontline. Disgraceful.

All our bags and instruments were sitting on one plane but you couldn’t work out how to get them off and on to a belt for us to pick up!? Again the default answer was that you didn’t know what was going on. But that is the point. Where are your contingency plans? What disaster recovery do you have in place? To say “go home and put in a claim for your bags” is no good to us. We need the equipment tomorrow as we’re flying again to Las Vegas. The lack of procedure, communication and information was very very poor. We are beyond frustrated and you have let a lot of people down.