EU denied boarding compensation

You have arrived on time.

But still they don’t let you on the plane?

Most probably your flight has been overbooked and there just aren’t any free seats available anymore. In this case, unless you’ve voluntarily agreed to give up your seat and fly at a later time, you are entitled to EU denied boarding compensation up to €600 per passenger.

This applies to most flights to and from Europe.

Check compensation online.

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Voluntary boarding denial

In most of situations - when something like this happens - airline will first offer compensation in the form of vouchers or cash to anyone willing to give up their seat and fly with another flight. If you are offered compensation like this and you agree to it, it’s called voluntary boarding denial.

In this case mostly you aren't eligible to any other compensations.

Let's go into details about DENIED BOARDING compensation in the European Union

Could you be entitled to compensation?

If you voluntarily give up your seat, then no.

Otherwise - yes, you might be.

What if you aren’t willing to voluntarily give up your seat, but you just don’t have any other options? Airline still have to take you to your destination or give you a full refund. Apart from that you may still be entitled to EU denied boarding compensation up to €600.

The denied boarding compensation rules are as following.

If you are flying to or from Europe, and you have been denied boarding flight because of overbooking, you are now entitled to compensation up to €600 per passenger. Because it's the airline's fault, not yours.

Yes - even if you were given a new flight for free (you should be).

Apart from that you also have the right to care.

Flight compensations - Rules - ENG

What else:

It applies only to situations when it's the airline's fault, such as overbooking.

If you are still unsure whether you are eligible for compensation or not, fill in our claim form, upload your boarding passes or tickets, including the new one in case you were offered another flight, and we'll take it from there.

Don’t worry, if we find out that you aren’t eligible for EU denied boarding compensation, it will cost you nothing, not a single cent.

Learn more: EU flight compensation regulation 261/2004 (EC 261).

Denied boarding due to visa issues

If you don't have a valid visa, you might be denied boarding.

And you may not even make it to your plane.

That applies also to situations when you aren't entering a country, but you are only transferring through. If these are separately booked flights - self transfer flights, you may have to have a visa for that. Check that in advance.

If you don't have a visa, when you need it, and because of that you're denied boarding, you'll get no compensation. It will be seen as your fault.

Check the rules shortly before you travel.

Traveller using a laptop

Denied boarding compensation or overbooked flight compensation?

What are the differences?

In the EU there aren't any, because it's the same thing.

It's just that some call it overbooked flight compensation, while others - the other way. It's the compensation for overbooked flight, the compensation you can get when you're denied boarding because of that (of overbooking).

EU denied boarding compensation: How much? How to claim it?

The exact amount of denied boarding compensation varies.

It's based on the distance of your flight and occasionally some other factors.

However, it’s not affected by the price of the flight or airline you are flying with.

Which means that under the same circumstances in case of an involuntary denied boarding, your Air France overbooking compensation is going to be the same as someone’s Lufthansa overbooking compensation. The same applies to all low cost airlines and charter airlines in Europe.

All thanks to Europe's Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004 (EC 261).

How much compensation am I entitled to in the event of an involuntary denied boarding?

So how much exactly is your claim worth?

Mostly the answer will be one of these: €250, €400 or €600.

Here is how you can calculate it.

How much can you claim - Refundor - ENG

When your destination is within the European Union:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres;
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is more than 1500 kilometres.

When your destination is outside the European Union:

  • €250 - if the distance of your flight is up to 1500 kilometres;
  • €400 - if the distance of your flight is between 1500 - 3500 kilometres;
  • €600 - if the distance of your flight is more than 3500 kilometres.

The rules are the same for all passengers. No matter the age, nationality, airline, price of the ticket or travel insurance. Your under 2 years old can receive full flight compensation, too.

Exception. If you are denied boarding due to visa issues, you'll get no compensation in the EU. If you're travelling with invalid travel documents (see our international travel document checklist) or without a valid visa or visas you will not be eligible for flight compensation.

How to claim compensation

How to claim compensation for a denied boarding?

One of the options is to contact the airline directly.

In a perfect world you would send an email to your airline and receive compensation soon afterwards. Unfourtunately mostly it's way more difficult. And you never know how long is it going to take.

Another option - to seek legal representation.

To ask someone more experienced (e.g. Refundor) to do it on your behalf.

Sounds difficult and expensive? It isn't.

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When working with us, here is all you will have to do:

  1. Go to this page;
  2. Fill in the details about yourself and your flight;
  3. Upload your boarding pass and passport copy;
  4. Sign the claim online.

And that’s it. We’ll take it from there.

When we are done we’ll ask you to provide your bank account details, so we can send you your funds by bank transfer. As easy as that.

Why work with Refundor?

Because it makes things so much easier.

Here is how:

  1. It saves your time. In most situations all you have to do is to submit your information once and… wait for the money. That’s it.
  2. It saves your money. Would you sooner or later decide to search for legal advice to make a claim against the airline, you’ll have to cover all the related expanses yourself. How much does it cost? It depends from case to case. But with us you pay only €25 + 25% of the amount of the compensation. No administration fees or tax expenses. No upfront fees.
  3. It's zero risk for you. It will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some reason. No win, no fees.

Let’s work together! Click here, enter all the information asked, all of what you can find on your boarding pass and flight ticket. And we’ll get the ball rolling.

When we finish the job, you’ll just tell us your bank account details.

And we’ll make the money transfer.


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Claiming denied boarding compensation: Frequently asked questions

1. How long does it take?

On average it takes around 2-3 months.

But you can rest assured, because we do finish every case we start, and whenever there will be any news regarding your compensation claim we will let you know by sending you an e-mail.

Why does it take so long?

Because there are no strict regulations regarding that.

Because no one has told airlines how quickly they should respond to such claims. So, yes, it may take a while. Depending on the time of the year, airline and the number of other people contacting the airline at the same time.

Speaking of the factors we can control, to achieve the best and fastest results at Refundor we use computer system that allows us to automate one big part of the process. Meaning that your claim can be processed much faster than if the whole process would be done by a human.

Euro bills

2. How much does it cost?

We pursue your compensation for a €25 + 25% fee.

No hidden administration fees or tax expenses. No upfront fees.

For example, if we'll win a 400 EUR compensation for you, we will transfer you 275 EUR and keep 125 EUR for our services.

At the same time it will cost you nothing, if we're unable to collect your compensation for some reason. No win, no fees.

3. How far back can I claim flight compensation?

Mostly it’s at least 2-3 years.

But it depends from the local laws of the country your flight is from.

4. What if you can’t get my compensation?

It’s a possibility.

As already mentioned, it will cost you nothing. No matter the reason.

Flight information screen at the airport

Step by step: What to do if you have been denied boarding?

So you have arrived at the airport.

You are on time. You have valid travel documents and visas, yet still they don’t let you on the plane? What should you do next?

Before we continue, let's answer the question.

Why? Why is something like this even happening?

Why do airlines overbook flights?

Most probably the reason is - overbooking. It's a common practice nowadays for airlines to sell more tickets than there are seats on the plane. Because always there will be someone who can’t make it or someone who changes his mind and decides not to show up despite the fact of having a confirmed reservation.

These kind of things happen.

Airlines try to make the most of it. By selling more tickets and assuming that there will be a certain percentage of those who don’t show up.

Airplane parked at the airport

So, what should you do if you have been denied boarding?

  1. Don’t stress over it. Things like this happen every day.
  2. Do you have a next flight that you can’t miss? If it’s a connecting flight, and because of this delay you are probably going to miss the next flight, don’t worry, because the airline will take care of that and most probably will put you on another flight for free. If, however, you have a very strict schedule or you have a next flight that isn’t a part of a connecting flight, inform the airline about it right away. Note that two or more separately booked flights isn't a connecting flight, it's a self transfer flight.
  3. Voluntary boarding denial. Is the airline offering you compensation of some form if you agree to voluntarily give up your seat and take another flight? If it works for you well, take it, because there may not be any better options. But note that after this you most probably will not be eligible to any other compensations.
  4. Involuntary denied boarding. You don’t want to voluntary give up your seat and take another flight offered or you aren’t given a choice. In this case you have to contact your airline and ask for solution.
  5. Know your rights. In case of involuntary denied boarding the airline still have to take you to your destination or give you a full refund. Apart from that you may still be entitled to denied boarding compensation up to €600.

What else you should know is that you still have the right to care.

  1. After 3 hours. If you have to wait at the airport for more than 3 hours the airline must provide you with free meal and drink plus two free phone calls, two e-mails or faxes.
  2. An overnight delay. In case of an overnight delay the airline must provide you with free hotel accomodation and transport to and from it. Ask for it!

How to get a free meal and drink?

What about free hotel if it’s going to be an overnight delay?

Wait for the announcement from your airline or head over to their ticket counter at the airport and they will help you. They should help you.

Read more: You have been denied boarding. What to do next?

Submit your denied boarding compensation claim now.

Passengers on the plane

Have you ever had your flight being delayed? Or cancelled? Here you can learn more about flight delay compensation & flight cancellation compensation. What are your rights, and what to do if that ever happens to you.

In short - often you can get both a new flight (if necessary), which can be another flight operated by your airline or you may be offered to fly with another airline at no extra cost to you, and you can also claim for compensation. That’s if in the end you reach your destination 2 or more hours later than planned.

Has something like this happened to you recently or during the last years?

Submit your claim for airline compensation now.

By Europe and EU we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.