Denied boarding compensation for old flights? It’s possible

Can you claim denied boarding compensation for old flights?

When it comes to European flight regulations, yes, it is possible to claim denied boarding compensation for old flights. When making a claim, keep in mind that there is a time limit for that. While some countries in Europe may have generous time limits (even 6 years), other European nations are stricter when it comes to time limits for claiming compensation from an airline.

Below you will find a list of these time limits.

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People waiting for their flight at a gate at an airport

Understanding denied boarding compensation in Europe

First, a quick intro about UK/EU denied boarding compensation.

You might be entitled to flight compensation if your flight is overbooked and you are not allowed to board. However, there are things you should know about denied boarding and flight overbooking before making a claim. It’s important to understand the difference, because in one situations you are and in other you aren’t entitled to compensation.

There are two types of denied boarding:

  • voluntary boarding denial (you agree to volunteer)
  • involuntary boarding denial (you don’t agree to volunteer)

According to EU Regulation 261/2004, voluntary and involuntary denied boarding are two types of scenarios in which a passenger can be refused boarding on a flight. And you can get EU flight compensation (of up to €600) only if you have been denied boarding involuntarily.

Involuntary boarding denial usually happens, when there are not enough volunteers who agrees to give up their seats and travel later. In this case you are not given a choice.

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Denied boarding compensation for old flights? It’s possible

Was your flight overbooked and you were denied boarding as a result?

You might be entitled to compensation. Even if it happened years ago, you might still claim denied boarding compensation from the airline. Because in the European Union, EEA and UK, it's possible to claim denied boarding compensation for old flights.

Mostly you can claim for flights that are up to 3 years old.

In some countries in Europe — up to 6 years after the flight.

Though don't put off filing your claim — the earlier you act, the better chance of success. This is what we see in our own experience dealing with compensation claims daily.

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Clock on the wall

What is the time limit for flight compensation claims in the EU/UK?

The time limit varies based on each country's regulations.

Every country has different regulations, so you should check local laws before submitting a claim. Or if you are applying for compensation with us, we do the checking on your behalf.

Mostly it’s 2-3 years

In most European countries you can generally claim flight compensation for delays, cancellations or denied boarding within 2-3 years of the scheduled departure time. Nevertheless, some European nations provide longer periods to seeking compensation (up to 6 years).

Despite this, we always recommended to file your claim as soon as possible, as countries may have different deadlines, and by acting swiftly, it will be simpler to assemble evidence in support of your situation — you have to prove that it wasn’t your fault and that you didn’t volunteer.

Time limit for claiming UK/EU flight compensation

Below is a list of countries in Europe, with time limits for claiming flight compensation.

Please be aware that the following information on flight compensation claim timeframes varies from country to country in Europe, and is subject to change. There may also exist discrepancies or updates since this data was last collected. It’s always a great idea to double check before claiming compensation.

Or file a claim with us and we’ll do the checking for you.

  • Austria: 3 years
  • Belgium: 1 year
  • Bulgaria: 5 years
  • Croatia: 2 years
  • Cyprus: 6 years
  • Czech Republic: 3 years
  • Denmark: 3 years
  • Estonia: 3 years
  • Finland: 3 years
  • Germany: 3 years
  • Greece: 5 years
  • Iceland: 2 years
  • Ireland: 6 years
  • Latvia: 6 months
  • Netherlands: 2 years
  • Norway: 3 years
  • Portugal: 3 years
  • Scotland: 5 years
  • Spain: 5 years
  • Switzerland: 2 years
  • Sweden: 3 years
  • UK (except Scotland): 6 years

Here is a proof — it’s possible to claim denied boarding compensation even for old flights. But you shouldn’t forget about the time limit. As you can see, for most countries it’s 2-3 years, but for a number of countries it’s greater than that (5 or 6 years).

Do you have any questions about flight cancellation compensation in Europe? Have you ever missed a flight because of a cancellation? Contact us, if you need help getting compensation for flight delay, cancellation or boarding denial.

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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.

Featured photo by Lucas Oliveira