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British Airways mercilessly Twitter-trolled by rival Ryanair

Commentary: Dealing with a massive IT disaster, the famous airline now has to put up with Twitter taunts from a competitor.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Not a friendly rivalry.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

British Airways once called itself "the world's favorite airline."

Now, it's not even Britain's favorite airline, after a massive IT system failure -- blamed on a power supply issue -- halted all flights on Saturday, as well as some on Sunday.

Thousands of passengers have been stranded. Many complained that BA staff had no idea what was going on.

You'd think, though, that competitors would brace themselves and mutter: "There, but for the grace of an IT outsourcing program, go we."

Instead, budget airline Ryanair took to Twitter to laugh at its rival. It posted a picture of actor David Walliams from the UK comedy series "Little Britain." The character he plays in this skit has a favorite line: "Computer Says No."

So Ryanair chuckled on Sunday: "Breaking news: BA appoints new head of IT....#ShouldHaveFlownRyanair."

Reaction, however, was very mixed.

"I've never flown Ryanair and given the firms reputation I never will. Pot & kettle...;" mused Mr. P.

"Oh the irony #Ryanair the company with THE worst customer service known to man ... flew once 11 years ago, vowed never again .. and haven't," sniffed Sean Elkins.

Declan Delaney suggested Ryanair should itself be worried: "Karma boys...how perfect is your IT ? Failover & continuity processes? Don't tempt fate ..."

Some did find it amusing, however. "I am crying this is bloody brilliant," said Dannii, with the appropriate emojis.

British Airways didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ryanair, though, doesn't seem to have had second thoughts about its attempt at mirth. On Monday, the airline pinned its tweet to the very top of its Twitter feed.