Denied Boarding Compensation

If you were denied to board your flight although you checked-in on time, you might qualify for compensation under EU Regulation 261/2004. Depending on the flight distance, you could claim denied boarding compensation between €250 to €600 from the airline.

Your Rights for Denied Boarding

When you possess a valid flight reservation and still find yourself prohibited from boarding, you are experiencing ‘denied boarding’. This situation can also be referred to as an involuntary “bumping”.

Whereas, under European Regulation EC 261 of 2004, if you were denied boarding due to overbooking, you may be eligible for denied boarding compensation, which could reach up to 600€.

Denied boarding can be either voluntary or involuntary.

  1. Voluntary Denied Boarding: Here, passengers willingly forgo their seat on an overbooked flight, typically in return for certain advantages like travel credits, vouchers, or hotel accommodations. By opting into this, passengers relinquish their rights to any compensation.
  2. Involuntary Denied Boarding: This occurs when a passenger’s reserved seat is taken away without their consent. In such cases, provided you do not present a safety, security, or health risk and you’ve adhered to check-in timelines, you are due compensation.

One of the surest and easiest method to avoid being bumped from your flight is early check-in. Late arrivals at the gate are more susceptible to being bumped.

Voluntary Denied Boarding

  • It is the process of offering up a seat on an oversold flight in exchange for some benefits like airline travel credits, vouchers, and hotel rooms. Such a choice stems from the airline’s strategy to seek volunteers willing to give up their seats.
  • If you agree to exchange the ticket and trade your flight seat, you will be considered to be counted as a voluntarily denied boarding. You won’t be eligible for compensation if you surrender your seat voluntarily.

The airline might sweeten the deal with added incentives, but ultimately, the choice to accept or decline rests with you. Always ensure that the benefits you receive for volunteering surpass what you would be entitled to under the EC Regulation 261/2004.

Involuntary Denied Boarding

Involuntary denied boarding occurs when an airline denies you entry onto a flight even with a valid reservation. Such a denial is unexpected and can happen despite you meeting all criteria: having essential travel documentation, a confirmed ticket, timely check-in, and posing no safety, security, or health concerns to the airline.

According to EU Regulation 261/2004, if you face involuntary denied boarding due to an overbooked flight, you’re entitled to specific rights, including:

  • Compensation ranging from €250 to €600.
  • Refund of your flight ticket, or alternate transportation.
  • Access to meals, refreshments, and other essential “Right To Care” services.

Key Reminder: Airlines rightfully oversell seats, as it’s legal and makes sense when some passengers cancel or miss their flights.

When can you claim compensation for denied boarding?

According to EU Regulation EC 261, there are specific scenarios under which you’re eligible to claim compensation for involuntary denied boarding:

  1. Your departure and arrival were both within the EU (irrespective of the airline)
  2. Your flight’s departure was from an EU airport (irrespective of the airline)
  3. Your arrival airport was in the EU member states and should have booked with an EU-regulated airline

It’s essential to note that your eligibility for compensation isn’t determined by your citizenship. Whether you reside within the EU or elsewhere, you can claim compensation if your travel scenario fits the above criteria.

Here’s a Quick Overview for Clarity:

Origin and Destination EU Airline Non-EU Airline
EU to EU ✅Yes ✅Yes
EU to Non-EU ✅Yes ✅Yes
Non-EU to EU ✅Yes ❌No
Non-EU to Non-EU ❌No ❌No
Key Reminder: You must check in on time in order to avoid being denied boarding and claim compensation for involuntary denied boarding.

How much compensation can you claim for denied boarding?

In the unfortunate event of being denied boarding involuntarily, the compensatory amounts you’re entitled to depend on both the flight distance and the duration of the delay upon reaching your final destination. Here’s a breakdown of the compensation regulations:

  1. Short-Haul Flights: For flights covering distances up to 1,500 km, a delay exceeding 2 hours entitles you to a compensation of €250.
  2. Medium-Haul Flights: This category includes flights spanning over 1,500 km within the EU, as well as those between 1,500 km to 3,500 km that venture outside the EU. Should you face a delay surpassing 3 hours in these flights, you can claim a compensation of €400.
  3. Long-Haul Flights: For long-haul journeys beyond 3,500 km that are outside the EU, you’re eligible for compensation up to €600 if your delay exceeds 4 hours.

Understanding your rights and the compensation brackets ensures you’re adequately recompensed for any inconvenience faced.

Reduced Compensation

The amount of compensation may be reduced by 50% if the arrival time of the alternative flight is less than 2 hours.

  • If the flight is less than 1,500 km reach its final destination up to 2 hours later than the actual arrival time, you could claim €125.
  • For flights over 1,500 km within the EU, and all flights between 1,500 km to 3,500 km outside the EU reach its final destination up to 3 hours later, you could claim €200.
  • And, for the flights over 3,500 km and outside the EU if reaches their final destination up to 4 hours later, you could claim €300.

Here’s a Quick Overview for Clarity:

Arrival Delay Route Distance Standard Compensation 50% Reduced Compensation
2 hours or less Less than 1500 km €250 €125
3 hours or less More than 1500 km within EU €400 €200
Between 1500 km to 3500 km outside EU €400 €200
4 hours or less More than 3500 km outside EU €600 €300

Additional Entitlements

Beyond compensation, passengers are also entitled to:

  • A refund for the full ticket cost or for the unused part of the journey.
  • A prompt return flight to the original point of the journey.
  • Alternate transportation to the final destination at no added cost.

In instances where the waiting period for the replacement flight goes beyond 2 hours from the scheduled departure, passengers have a right to:

  • Complimentary meals and refreshments.
  • Two phone calls, faxes, telex messages, or emails.
  • Hotel accommodation if an overnight stay is necessary.
Crucial Reminder: Even if you have received meal vouchers you can still claim compensation for denied boarding due to overbooking.

Timeframe for EU Compensation Claims for Denied Boarding

Passengers within the EU have a generous timeframe to stake their claims for denied boarding compensation. Notably, countries such as Germany extend this window, allowing air travelers to file their claims as long as three years after the actual flight date.

If you’ve experienced a flight delay or cancellation within these parameters, it’s imperative to diligently evaluate your eligibility for compensation. The potential financial reimbursement could be significant.

How can ClaimFlights help you with compensation?

ClaimFlights stands as the foremost authority in air passenger rights. Our dedicated team ensures you reap the benefits of EC Regulation 261/2004 without any financial burden on your part. Should your case escalate to court, rest assured – there are no hidden fees or additional charges.

Steps to Secure Your Flight Compensation with ClaimFlights:

  • Determine Your Compensation: Utilize our free flight compensation calculator to instantly assess the compensation amount you’re entitled to from airlines.
  • Enter Flight Details: Input your flight details meticulously. Ensure accuracy, especially for return flights, to pinpoint any problematic segments.
  • Delegate the Task: Entrust us with your flight compensation claim. Your part? Simply relax.
  • Stay Updated: Our seasoned team manages your claim, providing timely updates on its progress.
  • Success Fee: Once your claim triumphs, we deduct our success fee. The remainder? Directly transferred to your bank.
  • DIY Option: If you prefer a hands-on approach, leverage our complimentary claim letter template to spearhead the claim process independently.

Choose ClaimFlights for a streamlined, efficient claims process.

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