British Airways will pay millions in compensation after a Supreme Court decision. The court ruled that pilot sickness is not a valid reason to cancel flights without paying passengers. 

This follows a 2018 case where a flight from Milan to London was canceled.

British Airways to Pay Millions After Sickness Cancellation Ruling

(Photo : Corentin Detry/Pexels)

British Airways Faces Costly Ruling

The Supreme Court has ordered British Airways to pay millions of pounds in compensation to its passengers following flight cancellations due to crew members' sickness. 

The landmark ruling resulted from the case this January 2018 wherein a flight from Milan Linate to London City was canceled after the pilot fell ill shortly before departure.

That ruling could have implications for tens of thousands of other claims made every year. Traditionally, airlines like British Airways could refuse compensation by classifying crew illness as an "extraordinary circumstance" beyond their control. 

However, the Supreme Court's unanimous decision has now clarified that such common issues cannot be deemed extraordinary.

The judges emphasized that the regulation aims to protect consumers highly. They reasoned that since staff illnesses are typical in any business operation, airlines should anticipate and manage them accordingly.

British Airways expressed disappointment at the ruling but said it respected the judgment. 

The case points out a continuing row about passenger rights and airline duties in the UK, especially after EU consumer rights laws were encapsulated in British legislation as part of Brexit.

Industry analysts say this move may result in higher fares as carriers recover from financial losses from that ruling. It only means stricter government control on the airlines, ensuring the passengers' rights.

Related Article: Expect Pricier Tickets as British Airways Embraces Eco-Friendly Fuel

Lightning Strikes on Flight BA919

A British Airways flight from Stuttgart that was heading to Heathrow had to divert to Gatwick after being hit by lightning this Sunday. 

The incident, leaving travelers in shock, occurred during the stormy approach to Heathrow in the early afternoon. Instead of landing at the scheduled time of 1:40 p.m., it touched down at Gatwick around 2 p.m.

There was a tense moment for passengers on board Flight BA 919, some of whom were returning from watching Euro 2024 matches in Germany, as their aircraft got struck. 

However, the crew did it perfectly when they kept their passengers calm and diverted the plane to safety. The passengers proceeded by bus to Heathrow, their original destination, after landing.

British Airways said this was due to bad weather, which made landing safely at the planned destination, Heathrow, impossible. Further, it said that lightning strikes were quite common and usually caused no significant damage to a modern aircraft designed to withstand such strikes.

It came after what had already been a difficult start to the flight, delayed from Stuttgart due to overheated brakes. 

Separate incidents added to British Airways' recent troubles following extensive delays at Heathrow last week caused by an IT system failure and a ground vehicle fire near one of its planes.

Read Also: Air China Passenger Mistakes Exit for Bathroom, Causes Chaos