UK +44 151 9092228
IE +353 1 9073050

Denied Boarding

Compensation Values
Per Passenger
Up to 1,500 Km
delayed more than 3hrs
Per Passenger
From 1,500 – 3,000Km
delayed more than 3hrs
Per Passenger
More than 3,500Km
delayed more than 4hrs

Denied Boarding Compensation

Passengers can be denied boarding onto a flight for all sorts of reasons. The most common, however, is when the airline has overbooked a flight and there aren’t enough seats for all the passengers who wish to board.

In these situations, the carrier will first call for volunteers to surrender their tickets in exchange for flight compensation or benefits. In most cases, a few people will give up their seats so that everybody else can travel. After the volunteers have been adequately compensated for giving up their seats, no further action needs to be taken.

However, if too few people come forward to allow passengers onto the plane, the airline will then deny any remaining passengers access against their will. What airlines must do next is determined by EU Regulation 261/2004, a set of rules introduced by the European Commission to harmonise laws across EU airports.

Denied Boarding Reimbursement

According to article 4 of EU261/2004 which covers the subject of “denied boarding,” the airline must “immediately compensate” passengers who it does not allow to board a flight. This means that the carrier must either give them the option of being reimbursed or reroute their flight using the next available plane. They must also cover the cost of their meals and telephone calls while they wait.

Airline Compensation

Being reimbursed, however, is not the same as receiving compensation. Reimbursement just means getting back the money you paid for your flight OR being sent to your destination on a different route. By contrast, late flight compensation is money paid to cover all the additional costs you incurred, such as stress and lost holiday time.

How much denied boarding compensation a passenger is awarded relates to the severity of the delay and the length of the scheduled flight they were due to board. The longer the delay and the longer the flight, the greater the amount of airline delay compensation.

If your flight is a distance less than 1500km and you are not offered an alternative flight to reach your destination within two hours, then you are entitled to €250 in EU flight delay compensation. If your flight is “interregional,” meaning a distance of between 1500km and 3500 km, and you aren’t provided with an alternative within three hours, then you’re entitled to €400. And if your flight is more than 3500 km and you’re not provided with an alternative within four hours, then you can claim €600. If however, you are offered an alternative route within the time limits specified for each flight distance, then the amount of cancelled flight compensation you can claim is halved.

It’s worth noting that denied boarding compensation is paid out on the basis of how late you arrive at your destination, not how late you set off. For instance, suppose you were due to set off from Barcelona at 15:00 and arrive in Madrid at 16:00 but, thanks to delays, you set off from Barcelona at 17:15. In this case, you’d only be entitled to make a claim for the full amount of compensation if you arrived in Madrid after 18:00.  The fact that you set off 2 hours and 15 minutes late is irrelevant, according to EU law. The only way you can make a claim is if you arrive at your destination more than two hours of the scheduled time of arrival.

Could You Make A Claim?

EU rule 261/2004 sets out the conditions under which you are able to make a claim. First, you must have been scheduled on an EU-regulated flight. EU-regulated flights fall into two categories: flights that set off from EU airports on all airlines (even those based outside of the EU), and flights by EU airlines which landed at EU airports. If your flight does not fall into either of those categories, it is not covered by the rules.

To make a claim, your flight also has to have been scheduled after 2011, thanks to a statute of limitations that goes back six years in England and Wales, and five years in Scotland.

What To Do If Your Airline Refuses To Compensate You

Sometimes airlines do not to pay compensation for delayed flights to passengers, even to those who have been denied boarding and where the fault unequivocally lies with them. This is why hundreds of thousands of passengers across Europe use services like Flights Compensation. We tackle the airlines using our specialist claims teams and legal firms to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they are legally entitled to. To find out if you can claim request a call back and get a free no obligation review of your and In these cases, it’s worth approaching professionals who can take on your case and get you the money you deserve.

Check our other services
Airline passengers within the EU are protected by a Supreme Court ruling. If you have suffered at the hands of an airline you could be eligible to claim Flight Compensation up to €600 per passenger for:
Why Use Us?
  • No Win No Fee
  • Free Review
  • No Upfront Costs
  • Expert Claims Handlers
  • Specialist Legal Team

We specialise in Flight Delay Claims which enables us to handle your case quickly and efficiently. Once you contact us we can easily identify if you are eligible for Flight Compensation and can engage on your case immediately if required. Below is a breakdown of our process.
  • Call us or request a call back. One of our dedicated flight delays will assess your case in minutes and start your claim immediately if required.
    Contact Us
  • Our Flight Compensation process is streamlined to ensure your case is resolved as quickly as possible. Our documentation can be signed and completed online to speed up the process.
  • Once we have all relevant details our claims team will engage with your airline, fight your case and negotiate the maximum settlement on your behalf.
  • Claims are usually resolved in less than 3 months. You can rest assured we will always do everything in our power to have your case settled as quickly as possible.
    Case Settled