Denied Boarding Compensation Useful Guide — Claim Up to €600 for Overbooking

This article has been reviewed by a licensed lawyer Anton Radchenko for general accuracy. This is for informational purposes only and is not a legal advice.
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Were you planning your trip and airline staff denied you boarding a plane for no reason? Do you think it is unfair? Yes, we think so too! It pays to know passenger rights and our team will help you.

Few countries, including, USA, EU, Canada and the UK have regulations to protect you in such cases by entitling you to compensation for denied boarding in the amount of up to EUR 600 under EC 261 in Europe and up to $1,350 under the US regulations.

Check your eligibility to compensation now. No prepayments, no risk and it takes only 3 minutes.

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What are the passengers’ rights in case of denied boarding?

What is denied boarding? It is a situation in which a passenger is not allowed to board a flight that has been oversold, even though the passenger has paid for the ticket.

Why does this happen? Well, airlines have realized that some of their clients cancel their booking before the flight or simply do not show up, leaving a few empty seats at the time of the departure. The airline wants to ensure that the aircraft will fly at full capacity in order to make as much money as possible and so they sometimes sell more tickets than there are seats onboard.

They also establish a priority list and can, therefore, deny boarding to certain passengers according to this list. As a result of this pernicious practice, thousands of passengers every year are denied boarding because of flight overbooking.

It is unfair, but unfortunately, some companies prioritize profit instead of adequately providing the services that the client has paid for.

This is why you have to know your rights, so as to make sure that they will be fully respected. We are here to help you claim your rights and make sure that you will get the best possible outcome.

First and foremost, you have to know the distinction between the 2 types of denied boarding: voluntary and involuntary.

You are involuntarily denied boarding if your air carrier refuses to allow you to board your flight even though you pose no health, safety or security risk and you have:

  • a confirmed reservation;
  • the travel documentation required to complete your journey; 
  • sufficient time to complete check-in, security and boarding procedures.

If the flight is overbooked, the air carrier will call for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for benefits that they agree upon. However, if an air carrier calls for volunteers, and an insufficient number of passengers offer to give up their seats, then those passengers who did not volunteer become subjects to ‘involuntarily’ denied boarding.


What can you do in case of denied boarding?

Your passenger rights in case of overbooking (denied boarding)

As mentioned above, if you have voluntarily surrendered your seat, then you are entitled to certain benefits, such as:

  • re-routing as soon as possible;
  • re-routing at a later date at your convenience;
  • a refund of the full cost of the unused flight ticket.

However, if you were involuntarily denied boarding and for no valid legal reason, then you have every right to claim compensation. In addition to the financial compensation, you have the right to receive assistance.

The right to assistance also applies to passengers who face long delays. Depending on how long the delay, the right to assistance varies depending on the distance, from at least two hours for short flights to at least four hours for longer. The services that you are entitled to are:

  • reimbursement of the cost of the ticket within seven days or a return flight to the first point of departure or re-routing to their final destination;
  • care (refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails);
  • compensation in the amount of:
    • €250 for all flights of 1,500 kilometres or less;
    • €400 for all intra-EU flights of more than 1,500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometres;
    • €600 for all other flights.

The same amounts of money ought to be paid should you accept to be re-routed but arrive at least 3 hours later compared to your original booking.

If you are downgraded, e.g. when you receive a seat on the plane corresponding to a lower class of service than that of the reservation, the airline should reimburse between 30 and 75 percent of the ticket price, depending on flight length.


EU flight compensation for denied boarding.

Eligibility for EU flight compensation for denied boarding. 

Under the EU’s  Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004, you can claim compensation if your flight was scheduled, charter or low-cost or part of a package holiday deal; started in the EU or landed in the EU and the operating airline is EU-based. 

This means 28 EU countries: (Austria, Latvia, Belgium, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, The Czech Republic, Malta, The Republic of Cyprus, Poland, Croatia, Portugal, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Romania, Finland, Slovakia, France, Slovenia, Germany, Spain, Greece, Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary), but also includes Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion Island, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands along with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. 

You are not eligible for compensation if: 

  • you have voluntarily accepted to give up your seat at the request of the airline 
  • you didn't check-in on time (the time limit to check-in for your flight is mentioned in your booking confirmation, on the airline's website and usually on your boarding pass)
  • you didn't reach the gates on time for security and boarding procedures
  • some of the required travel documentation is missing
  • you represented a security or health problem


compensation for denied boarding in USA

Claiming compensation for denied boarding (overbooking) in USA

Although air passenger rights are not as well regimented in the US as they are in the EU, a passenger who was denied boarding can actually receive more money as compensation. The amount that the passenger receives depends on the following conditions:

  • whether he or she was booked on a US domestic flight or an international one
  • the delay at the final destination for the alternative flight (if the passenger has opted for a re-route)
  • the price of the booked ticket

If the passenger makes his own arrangements, then the compensation is simply the full refund of the ticket.

If there is a delay at your destination compared to your scheduled flight, then you are entitled to compensation according to the length of the delay.


1-2 hours

2-4 hours

more than 4 hours

Domestic flights

200% of your one-way fare to your final destination (max. $675)

400% of your one-way fare to your final destination (max. $1350)

400% of your one-way fare to your final destination (max. $1350)

International flights

200% of your one-way fare to your final destination (max. $675)

200% of your one-way fare to your final destination (max. $675)

400% of your one-way fare to your final destination (max. $1350)

If you were denied boarding on the basis of overbooking, then there are few things that you can do in order to make sure that you will receive compensation.

First of all, keep all documents related to your flight and/or any alternative flights, such as your boarding pass, your e-ticket, booking confirmation, luggage tag etc.

You also need to keep your receipts for additional expenses caused by the boarding denial.

Each airline is legally required to give all passengers who have been denied boarding involuntarily a written statement describing their rights and explaining why they decided to deny them boarding.

You have 30 days in order to claim your right to compensation and negotiate for a larger sum. 

Flight compensation for Denied boarding in Turkey

Turkish law provides that in the event of a denied boarding, the air transport operator performing the flight has to make an announcement to find passengers who will voluntarily waive their reservations in return for benefits to be agreed on between the passenger and the air transport operator.

The airline is also obliged to assist these volunteers and provide them with alternative flight options and with the necessary passenger care services, such as meals and refreshments, means of transport and accommodation etc.  

The compensation sum can be paid in cash, via electronic remittance, bank payment orders or bank cheques. However, it can also be paid with travel vouchers and/or other services if the passenger consents to it.


Denied boarding compensation Israel

Denied boarding compensation in Israel

In Israel, if you are denied boarding you will be entitled to certain benefits provided that:

  • your flight is scheduled to depart from an airport in Israel, or to Israel;
  • you hold a confirmed reservation for the flight;
  • you have met the applicable check-in deadline;
  • you are not travelling free of any fare charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public; and
  • you were denied boarding due to breaching the airline's conditions of carriage or for other reasonable grounds.

You may choose one between 3 options:

  • Reimbursement of the fare paid for your ticket for the part of carriage not used, and for those parts of the carriage used if, as a result of denied boarding, the flight to which you were denied boarding is no longer relevant to your original travel plans. If necessary, you will be carried to the first point of departure in your contract of carriage on the earliest flight with suitable space available; or,
  • Re-routing on the earliest flight with suitable space available to your final destination airport (or to another airport in the same town, city or region, in which case you will be provided with alternative means of transport in order to get to your final destination airport); or,
  • A re-route at a later date on a flight to your final destination airport (or to another airport in the same town, city or region, in which case you will be provided with alternative means of transport in order to get to your final destination airport).

If you are denied boarding against your will and do not volunteer to waive your confirmed reservation, you will also be entitled to monetary compensation.

Flight distance (in KM.)

Schedule Landing Time

Compensation Amount 

up to 2000

Within 4 hours from scheduled time

Over 4 hours from scheduled time

640(in NIS)*

1280(in NIS)*

up to 4500

Within 4 hours from scheduled time

Over 4 hours from scheduled time

1025(in NIS)*

2050(in NIS)*

above 4500

Within 4 hours from scheduled time

Over 4 hours from scheduled time

1540(in NIS)*

3080(in NIS)*

*NIS being the Israeli national currency - the new Israeli Shekel, 1NIS = 0.28224 U.S. dollars.

If you are denied boarding against your will, you will be entitled to:

  • meals and refreshments;
  • two telephone calls and one fax or e-mail (or reimbursement of the cost of the phone call)
  • hotel accommodation and transportation between the airport and place of accommodation if you have to stay for one or more nights.


How to claim compensation for overbooking

How to claim compensation for overbooking?

Denied boarding can certainly cause a lot of trouble and inconveniences and can seriously disrupt your travel plans. You have to be prepared for such a situation, know your rights and exercise them in your best interest.

You also have to know to whom you can appeal in order to help you claim your right.  Remember: If you want to get compensation for denied boarding, do not accept to surrender your seat voluntarily. Don’t just accept whatever the airline offers you in exchange for the seat you’ve booked. 

Know that in the event that there aren’t enough volunteers who surrender their places, anyone is likely to be denied boarding against their will. If you are one of those people, you should submit a request for compensation as soon as possible.

This is not an easy task, especially if you submit the request on your own. You will most certainly need help from professional third-party companies if you want to make sure that you’ll receive the compensation.

Lawyers aren’t the best option, because you have to pay fees even though compensation has been denied to you. We, however, get paid only if we manage to get you the compensation.

The process is very simple. It takes you about 3 minutes to submit the claim and we take care of the rest. You can claim compensation for denied boarding within the last 3 years.

We receive 25% of the collected compensation, including VAT, therefore, it’s not only in your best interest to let us do the work for you, it is also in our interest. And so, we will do everything that is legally possible in order to help you get the compensation, even if it means taking the case to court.

Airlines cannot simply brush us off, because they are aware of the fact that we will pursue the case until we come to the desired outcome.

We'll help you get compensation for last 3 years, if your flight was delayed, cancelled or if you were denied boarding.

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