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Thousands could make claims after BA flight delay ruling

The company took its case to the Supreme Court, which unanimously dismissed its appeal.

In their judgment – which was backed by three other justices – Lord Sales and Lady Rose said it “does not matter” when the pilot fell ill, as the crew member remained an “inherent part of the airline’s operation” even when not on duty.

They said not coming to work because something had “[gone] awry” during rest periods did not count as an extraordinary circumstance.

In a statement issued by law firm Irwin Mitchell following the ruling, Mr and Mrs Lipton said they “never wanted to be in this position”.

They described their win as “a victory for people who are prepared to fight for common sense and justice against corporate behemoths who have access to every resource”.

Rocio Concha from consumer group Which? described the Supreme Court’s decision as “highly significant for travellers, confirming as we head into the busy summer period that staff illness is not an acceptable reason to deny paying compensation for significant delays or cancellations”.

A spokesperson for BA said: “We are disappointed with this decision and respect the judgment of the court.”

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