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Denied Aircraft Boarding? You could make a compensation claim

Denied Aircraft Boarding? You could make a compensation claim

If during the process of international travel you were denied the opportunity to board an aircraft, then it very probably caused you a great deal of embarrassment and stress, not to mention inconvenience and onward travel problems.

You may be curious to know if you are entitled to financial compensation for this incident. Well the good news is that the likely answer is yes. Even better news is that this doesn’t have to be a recent event. Compensation can be claimed if you were denied the right to board an aircraft at any time in the past six years

What is covered by “denied aircraft boarding?”

There are various circumstances which lead to someone having a flight ticket but being denied the chance to get on board the aircraft.

This is shockingly common, due to modern day pressures on airlines and airports. Security measures, check in desk malfunctions, booking errors and incorrect boarding procedures can all play a part in the problem.

If could be that through no fault of your own (such as problems at the check-in desk) you arrive at the departure gate to find it is shut, and you are denied the chance to board the aircraft.

Or even more likely, the airline has oversold the seats, and there were not enough volunteers willing to change flights. This means you could find yourself sitting in the airport while the flight you paid for takes off without you. Sadly, this is a very common occurrence, and many pundits believe airlines deliberately overbook flights to increase their profit.

You may hear this form of “denied boarding” being referred to as being “bumped” to a later flight.

Sometimes, when flights are cancelled due to circumstances that are the airline’s responsibility, you may hear this situation referred to as “denied boarding” too. This sometimes happens when the airline doesn’t sell enough seats, cancels the flight and moves you to an alternative one against your wishes.

Travel vouchers for being bumped

When airlines have more people checking onto an aircraft than the number of available seats, they usually ask for volunteers to wait for later flights. They issue compensation vouchers as an incentive. If you willingly take this travel voucher, then you and the airline have “settled” the question of compensation.

It is important to note that these vouchers rarely – if ever – have a value equal to the compensation you would receive if you didn’t volunteer to be bumped to the next flight.

So how much is compensation for denied boarding?

The amount you are entitled to depends on where your international travel started and finished.

So, for example, if your journey involves countries in the European Union, you are currently covered by the EU Regulation 261/2004. This provides compensation of up to £520 for flights that are delayed or wouldn’t allow you on board, depending on travel distance and other factors.

If the airport where you were denied boarding was in the USA, and it was an international flight, you are covered by that country’s rules on this issue. This could mean entitlement to compensation of 200% of the cost of one way travel to your destination.

Your travel documentation and the airline’s website should provide you with terms and conditions for being denied boarding, including information about the laws governing compensation claims.

Are there exceptions?

Compensation is not payable if you were denied the opportunity to board the aircraft due to health and safety or security issues. So, this includes being severely intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or displaying any form of aggressive behaviour for example.

How can you verify and progress my compensation claim?

As the procedures vary according to different international laws, the best thing to do is speak to us. We can check the potential claim and progress it to swift financial settlement on your behalf. Remember, the incident of being denied boarding on the aircraft could have taken place any time in the past six years and we can still process it for you.


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