Denied Boarding Rights: Key Facts You Should Be Aware Of

Get the Facts: Your Rights When Denied Boarding

Arm yourself with knowledge about your rights as an airline customer! Know precisely how to handle denied boarding.

Have you ever been denied boarding a flight and not know what to do? It’s a terrible feeling being turned away from your flight when you had planned and paid for it. But knowing your rights can help you get the best possible outcome in such a situation.

This blog post will explain your rights if you are denied boarding on your next flight. We’ll cover all the must-know information—including the causes of denied boarding, compensation rights, re-routing options, and more.

After reading this article, you will know precisely how to handle denied boarding. So read on and arm yourself with knowledge about your rights as an airline customer!

What Does Denied Boarding Mean?

If you’ve ever been told your flight is overbooked and you can’t get on, you know what denied boarding means. Simply put, it’s when an airline doesn’t have space for you on the flight you have a ticket for. It can be incredibly frustrating if it happens unexpectedly and leaves you with no recourse.

Fortunately, when it comes to denied boarding, passengers in the United States do have some rights. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that airlines inform passengers about their rights when denied boarding before boarding starts and provide compensation for those affected by overbooking.

Compensation for those denied boarding typically depends on your ticket class and the length of your delay. If you’re bumped from an economy class ticket, DOT regulations require airlines to offer customers an amount equal to 400% of the one-way fare (up to $1,550).

Airlines must also pay denied passengers 200% of the one-way fare (up to $775) if they are delayed between 1-2 hours after their original arrival time in the case of domestic flights or four hours in the case of international flights.

Airline Policies on Denied Boarding

Travel can be stressful, and being denied boarding the flight you’ve paid for can make a bad situation far worse. But it’s important to understand your rights whenever this occurs.

Most airlines have policies on denied boarding that provide rules and guidelines for passengers in this situation.

For instance, it’s common practice for airlines to offer a refund for the total ticket price and vouchers or discounts that can be used toward a future flight. Sometimes, the airline will even offer compensation as an incentive for your inconvenience.

Getting familiar with these policies before you book your trip is always a good idea. They may vary from airline to airline, but generally, they should all outline the same fundamental rights: refunds (either partial or complete), travel vouchers, compensation, or upgrades on another flight if available.

As always, be sure to read through any applicable terms and conditions carefully before completing your purchase.

Compensation for Denied Boarding

You might not know that a passenger denied boarding due to overbooking is entitled to compensation. The amount depends on the length and destination of the flight, but domestic flights within the US can expect up to 400 percent of the one-way fare (with a maximum of $1550).

International flights may also be entitled to 400 percent, up to $1550 for 4+ hours of arrival delays.

If you are denied boarding, there are a few steps you should take:

  • Don’t leave the airport or check-in area until you have received proper compensation for your trouble.
  • Double check with customer service about what kind of compensation you are eligible for –– most airlines have policies that accommodate passengers who have been denied boarding for overbooking.
  • Document all conversations with customer service, and don’t forget to take screenshots or pictures of your tickets and flight information in case that information is needed later on.

Being denied boarding due to overbooking can be a hassle, but you’ll be compensated relatively with proper research and documentation. Don’t let these airlines get away without compensating you for your trouble!

How to Claim Your Rights When You Are Denied Boarding

If you are denied boarding, it’s essential to understand your rights to get the compensation and assistance you are entitled to. Here are the steps you should take:

Get written confirmation

Under regulations, airlines must give travelers a written statement confirming their rights when denied boarding. This statement should explain how much compensation you’re entitled to. Keep a copy of this document as proof of your rights.

File a complaint with DOT.

If the airline refuses to honor your rights, you can file a complaint with the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT enforces a range of regulations that protect passengers and will investigate any violations found.

You can submit a complaint through the DOT website or call the provided hotline.

Sue in court

You may sue an airline in court if you feel your legal rights have been violated. You should contact an attorney specializing in air travel cases for more information about taking legal action for violations.

Airlines’ Obligations Under EU Regulations

If you are denied boarding in Europe, your airline has some obligations under the EU Denied Boarding Regulations.

These regulations state that if you are denied boarding against your will, the airline must offer you a refund or an alternative flight.

The regulations also state that the airline may offer you financial compensation for being denied boarding. The amount depends on the length of the flight:

  • Flights up to 1500 kilometers: €250
  • Flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometers: €400
  • Flights over 3500km within the EU and flights between 1500-3500km outside of the EU: €600
  • flights outside of the European Union over 3500km: €300

In addition, the airline is also responsible for providing meals and refreshments appropriate to your wait time, accommodation in a hotel if necessary, and transportation between your hotel and the airport.

So if you’re ever in a situation where you’re being denied boarding, take advantage of these regulations and ensure your rights are respected!

What to Do if Your Claim Is Rejected?

You’ve followed the steps and submitted your claim, but it’s been rejected. What can you do then?

Internal Complaint Resolution Process (ICRP)

If your claim is rejected by the airline, you have the right to submit a complaint to their internal complaint resolution process (ICRP). This is a way of appealing the decision of the airline.

It would be best if you were prepared with evidence detailing why you think the decision was unfair and provided information on why you feel boarding should not have been denied.

It’s important to note that airlines are not obligated to accept your ICRP complaints, so follow all instructions and have your evidence ready before submitting it.

Small Claims Court

If your ICRP complaint is rejected or you don’t receive a response from the airline, you can sue them in small claims court for damages or lost wages due to being denied boarding.

Before taking this route, you should be familiar with all of the steps for filing a small claims court case.

When faced with a denied boarding situation, understanding your rights and options can help ensure that you get what’s rightfully yours—so educate yourself on what you’re entitled to in these situations!


Don’t accept the status quo if you’re denied boarding — get the facts. Sometimes, airline staff might not offer you your full rights to save time and resources.

However, it’s important to remember that as a passenger, you have the right to be treated fairly and obtain the help you need.

Ensure you know your rights and are familiar with your options for being denied boarding. Stay informed, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t let the airline’s staff intimidate you

Ignite Your Interest with the Topics Loved by Our Engaged Readers

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn more about claiming compensation for flight delays or cancellations. Click any of the links below to discover expert advice, comprehensive guides, and useful tips on how to claim what you’re entitled to. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just looking to expand your knowledge, our fascinating topics will leave you informed and engaged.

Related Questions

Can an airline deny me boarding if I have a confirmed reservation and have checked in on time?

Yes, an airline can deny you boarding even if you have a confirmed reservation and have checked in on time under certain circumstances. This may happen if the flight is overbooked, the airline needs to accommodate crew members, or has to make changes due to unforeseen circumstances such as a delay or cancellation of a connecting flight. However, the airline must follow certain rules and procedures when denying the boarding, including providing compensation or alternative arrangements for affected passengers.

Can I be denied boarding if I am late for my flight?

Yes, if you arrive late for your flight, the airline may deny you boarding. This is because airlines have strict rules for boarding times and if you are not present at the gate by the designated time, they may give your seat to someone else. It’s important to arrive at the airport with enough time to check in, clear security, and get to your gate before boarding time.

Do airlines have to provide me with meals and accommodations if I am denied boarding?

If you are denied boarding due to overbooking or other reasons that are within the airline’s control, the airline may be required to provide you with meals and accommodations until you are able to board a flight to your destination. This may depend on the specific regulations and laws in the country or region where the flight is taking place.

In the United States, for example, airlines are required to provide compensation to passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding, which may include meals, accommodations, and transportation to and from the airport. However, if you are denied boarding due to factors outside of the airline’s control, such as late arrival or failure to meet visa requirements, the airline may not be required to provide these services.

What if I voluntarily give up my seat due to overbooking? Am I entitled to compensation?

If you voluntarily give up your seat due to overbooking, the airline may offer you compensation such as a voucher for a future flight, or other incentives such as an upgrade to a higher class. However, if you choose to give up your seat, you may not be entitled to cash compensation under the airline’s compensation policies or relevant regulations.

If the airline asks you to give up your seat involuntarily, you may be entitled to cash compensation, as well as meals and accommodations if necessary, depending on the specific circumstances and regulations in the country where the flight is taking place. It’s important to check the airline’s policies and relevant regulations to understand your rights and options.

Is there a difference in my rights if I am denied boarding on a domestic or international flight?

Yes, there can be differences in your rights if you are denied boarding on a domestic or international flight. The specific rules and regulations that apply can vary depending on the country or region where the flight originates and the laws that apply.

In general, international flights may be subject to additional regulations and requirements, such as those set forth by international treaties and agreements. It’s important to check the terms and conditions of your ticket and contact the airline to understand your specific rights and options in the event of being denied boarding on a domestic or international flight.

What happens when none of the passengers are willing to give up their seats on an overbooked flight? How are passengers compensated?

If none of the passengers on an overbooked flight are willing to give up their seats voluntarily, the airline may have to involuntarily deny boarding to some passengers. In this case, the airline is required to follow certain procedures and regulations, such as offering passengers the option to be rebooked on a later flight or to receive compensation.

The compensation for involuntarily denied boarding is usually based on the length of the delay in reaching the passenger’s final destination, as well as the ticket price. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires airlines to pay up to 400% of the ticket price, with a maximum limit of $1,350, for passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding on domestic flights.

For international flights, the amount of compensation may vary depending on the country and region, as well as the airline’s policies.

Pramod Ram

Pramod Ram

Digital Marketing Strategist

Pramod Ram heads the Online Marketing and Content Marketing Team at Claim Flights GmbH. He loves to travel, read books, watch movies and do intensive research.

If your flight delays for more than 3 hours, or was canceled, you may be eligible for compensation up to €600 based on EU 261 rule.

Check For Free

We offer "No Win - No Fee" Services, so claiming is Risk-Free!

10 best flight-booking sites of 2024

10 best flight-booking sites of 2024

Are you searching for the perfect flight booking portal to snag the cheapest airfares for your next trip? You're not alone. Today, the internet is flooded with options that claim to offer the fastest and most cost-effective booking...

Top 10 Most Beautiful Places In The World To Visit In 2024

Top 10 Most Beautiful Places In The World To Visit In 2024

When it comes to the world, the place is one of the most beautiful arenas. The most amazing places in the world allow you to set your foot in the world to enjoy the view of the world. In this blog, we have brought for you the top 10 most...

Flight Delays Due To Technical Problem

Flight Delays Due To Technical Problem

When Technical Glitches Ground Your Plans: Flight Delays Explained Flight delays can be incredibly frustrating, especially when they disrupt carefully planned itineraries and cause inconvenience to travelers. While various reasons can...

We help in many languages – ClaimFlights International Websites