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EU Denied Boarding Compensation

Denied boarding is a situation in which you are not allowed to board a flight despite having a valid reservation. Another term commonly used for describing this scenario is an air passenger being involuntarily “bumped”. There is however one quick and easy method of making sure that you, as an air passenger, are not bumped from your scheduled flight; the early check-in. People who check in late are at an increased risk of being bumped. Generally speaking, there are two types of denied boarding, voluntary denied boarding and involuntary denied boarding. Both types are explained in further detail below.

Voluntary Denied Boarding

In the event that your flight has been overbooked, the airline will probably start offering incentives to passengers who are willing to voluntarily exchange their ticket. If you do agree to trade in your seat, you are said to have denied boarding voluntarily and could receive any of the following benefits from your airline:

  • Re-routing on a different date at your convenience, or
  • Refund of the total cost of your unused flight ticket, or
  • Re-routing as soon as possible

Additionally, there are several other incentives used by the airlines, but it is entirely up to you which one you choose to best suit your needs i.e. which one provides you with the most benefits. Needless to say, you should always make sure that the incentives you are offered for voluntary denied boarding are worth more to you that the amount of compensation you would receive in accordance with EC-Regulation 261/2004.

Involuntary Denied Boarding

Involuntary denied boarding is a situation in which the airline refuses to allow you to board the flight for which you have a valid ticket. This can also occur despite the fact that you do not pose a security, safety or health risk to the airport and that you have arrived at the airport with:

  • All travel documents necessary for completing the journey,
  • A confirmed reservation and
  • Sufficient time for completing check-in, security and boarding procedures.

In case of involuntary denied boarding, the airline might offer you one of the following:

  • Re-routing on a different date at your convenience, or
  • The refund of the total cost of your unused flight ticket, or
  • Re-routing as soon as possible

Should you opt for being re-routed asap, the airline will offer you assistance while you are waiting for the alternative flight. This should include:

  • Refreshments and meals during waiting times
  • Transfers between hotel and airport, where necessary
  • Hotel accommodation if an overnight stay is required
  • 2 telephone calls, emails and faxes.

If the airlines do not offer the aforementioned assistance, you will be forced to make your own arrangements. It is important for you to have all receipts handy as these will be required for claiming back your incurred expenses. In cases of involuntary denied boarding, it is obligatory for the airlines to compensate you, whereby the amount will vary depending on the timeframes and the distance of your re-routed journey.

Total compensation the airlines owe you

When it comes to denied boarding, airlines generally give priority to people with reduced mobility and those accompanying them. Passengers who are denied boarding have the right to the reimbursement of their ticket cost. Passengers should also be offered food and drinks, hotel accommodation and transport facilities. The total amount of compensation includes:

  • € 250 for all flights up to 1500 kilometers.
  • € 400 all inner-EU flights of up to 1500 kilometers and for all other flights between 1500 kilometers and 3500 kilometers.
  • € 600 for all other flights that cross EU borders.

This EU regulation applies to all worldwide airlines for departures from within the EU.

How to get compensation for denied boarding

Claim Flights offers great service and can always be of good help if you want to claim compensation for denied boarding. You can use the free flight compensation calculator for calculating the amount the airlines owes you. It is important to mention that you have to enter the flight details for denied boarding flights manually as the flight for which you were denied boarding will not be identified as a problematic flight in the Claim Flights database.

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