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Aer Lingus Overbooking: The Compensation when Denied Boarding

Aer Lingus Overbooking: The Compensation when Denied Boarding
Jeremiah Awogboro
Written By Jeremiah Awogboro
Last Updated: June 12, 2024

Getting bumped on a flight can be disenchanting, especially when you have a tight schedule. While it doesn’t occur often, the good part is that you are entitled to compensation if Aer Lingus bumps you off its flight, and you might get compensation if the underlying cause is overbooking.

Aer Lingus expanded its routes in 2023, flying 10.7 million passengers. However, its 2022 operations were not without an overbooking incident, resulting in a family separation and forcing two children to fly without their parents. The ground staff stated,


I’m sorry, the flight is overbooked, and there is no room for your two children.

We certainly hope Aer Lingus has learned from such a disheartening experience. Nonetheless, our AirAdvisor compensation experts are here to help If a staff member tells you there is no room on board for you. We’ll help you get compensation. In the meantime, let’s get to know what denied boarding is and the regulations in place to protect you and other passengers.

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What Denied Boarding Is and Why Aer Lingus Might Do It

You can quickly tell that overselling occurred if the ground staff tells you there is no room on the flight. However, overselling is not the only reason a carrier bumps a passenger. If you’re denied boarding because of unruly behaviour, for example, you won’t be eligible for compensation.

An oversold flight happens when the number of passengers with tickets outnumbers the seats onboard. Interestingly, this practice isn’t illegal, as regulators allow carriers to do it for profit maximization on each flight.

Aer Lingus had a mountain of cancelled flight cases on its hands in 2022. Of course, passengers who were affected are eligible for refund packages and other compensation. But with overbooking, the carrier maintains that it doesn’t intentionally oversell its flights.

The carrier has specific groups that are eligible for pre-acceptance when they call for volunteers. These volunteers willingly give up their seats for incentives. With enough volunteers, the carrier can avoid bumping passengers and paying overbooked flight compensation.

Aer Lingus uses check-in times for its boarding priority, so passengers who show up late have the highest risk of getting bumped off the oversold flight.

We can’t guarantee you’ll get stellar customer service when you have a bumped flight experience, but, we will do our best to ensure you receive compensation if the flight was oversold. Contact our compensation experts if the carrier doesn’t provide you compensation while you are still at the airport.

aer lingus plane taking off

Regulations and Passenger Rights When Overbooking Occurs on Your Aer Lingus Flight

Passengers flying from the United States will have different compensation rates than passengers flying from the UK or EU. Regardless of your point of departure, you can expect cash packages that we will share with you shortly. Let’s be real. Sometimes, the carrier will be aware of your passenger rights and immediately act to alleviate the discomfort after bumping you off the flight. Other times, you might need to remind them what they should do for you.

Don’t be afraid to ask a boarding agent what the airline plans to do now that you’ve been bumped. One thing you must know is that Aer Lingus will need to come up with an alternative plan immediately. The boarding agent or the staff, for example, might ask you to wait for a while as they arrange an alternative flight or compensation.

If you are wondering whether you are still eligible for compensation after being bumped a while ago, the answer is yes. We’ll show you what to do. In the meantime, let’s review your rights when you’re involuntarily denied boarding.

Involuntary Denied Boarding

You are eligible for compensation if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have a confirmed reservation with Aer Lingus
  • You checked in on time
  • You were at the departure gate within the allocated time frame
  • Aer Lingus didn’t offer an alternative flight to your destination within one hour of your original arrival time

Laws in the U.S. and the EU/UK require Aer Lingus to provide alternative transportation if you’re denied boarding. Even so, you could also receive a compensation package depending on when you reach your final destination.

Those travelling from an EU/UK airport are covered under EU Regulation 261/2004 and UK Regulation 261. Payment can come in cash or by cheque at the airport. Otherwise, the carrier will send it if you have left the airport. Free or discounted transportation is also available if that is your preference. Still, be sure to inquire about all restrictions on the free or discounted transportation before accepting it to avoid surprises with expiry and blackout dates.

Voluntary Denied Boarding

If you volunteer to give up your seat, Aer Lingus will only pay you the agreed incentive, not the overbooked flight compensation.

As of this writing, we can’t tell what Aer Lingus will offer to volunteer, but you can expect tickets and vouchers. If you have questions about their incentive package, feel free to ask the gate agent. Our advice is to evaluate the offer thoroughly before accepting it, and as we mentioned earlier, inquire about any restrictions or limitations. For example, ask if you can use the voucher during the holidays.

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Your Other Rights When Bumped

You can always expect to receive an alternative flight if you’re denied boarding involuntarily. However, you have other rights besides getting aboard the next available flight. They include the following:

  • The right to defer or postpone your flight: You can fly as soon as possible or later. The choice is yours. Simply inform Aer Lingus that you do not wish to fly immediately and have your ticket deferred to your preferred date. Note that the flight will still be of the same class and cost as the one you originally purchased.
  • The right to care: Waiting for an alternative flight can take hours because Aer Lingus must find a flight with an empty seat for you. Your waiting time can come with a care package that includes meals, refreshments, and accommodation. Aer Lingus will provide these or reimburse your expenses.
  • The right to a refund: Those flying from the EU/UK can request a refund. Aer Lingus will refund all unused parts of the ticket. The carrier may also provide a flight back to your starting point if you are part-way through a journey.

crowd is waiting for boarding

Aer Lingus Overbooking: Your Compensation When Denied Boarding

The table below shows how much compensation you could receive if you were denied boarding while travelling from a U.S. airport:

Arrival delay from alternative flight


0 to one hour

No compensation

One to four hours

200% of one-way fare up to $675

Over four hours

400% of one-way fare up to $1,350

Those in the EU/UK can expect compensation as follows:

Flight Distance


1,500 km or less

EUR 250

Intra-community flights of more than 1,500 km and flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km

EUR 400

All flights outside those mentioned above

EUR 600

The EU/UK compensation may be slashed by 50%, depending on the length of the delay, but. that will happen if the delay does not exceed:

  • Two hours for flights within 1,500 km
  • Three hours for intra-community flights above 1,500 km and other flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km
  • Four hours for flights beyond 3,500 km
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What to Do If Aer Lingus Overbooked and Denied You Boarding Involuntarily

Do the following immediately:

  1. Confirm with the carrier if the flight was oversold.
  2. Ask for a statement on why you were bumped.
  3. Gather proof that you booked the oversold flight. You can use your ticket, luggage tag, or reservation confirmation.
  4. Speak with an AirAdvisor compensation expert to file your claim

Exceptions: When You Are Not Eligible for Compensation

Getting bumped for reasons other than overselling might make you eligible for compensation. For example, Aer Lingus can bump you if they find your behaviour is unruly or threatening to the flight crew and other passengers. Intoxication or acting under the influence of an illegal drug can also get you bumped without compensation.

Airline Policy

Aer Lingus will not provide compensation in the following scenarios:

  • You are unacceptable for transportation under the carrier’s usual rules and practices.
  • They will compensate you if the flight is cancelled.
  • A smaller aircraft was used for operational or safety reasons.
  • The carrier offers accommodation in a different section on the same flight.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when an Aer Lingus flight is oversold?

Enquire with an Aer Lingus customer service representative. Alternatively, you can ask the boarding agent.

When should I expect payment if I opt for a refund?

Aer Lingus will reimburse you within seven days. The payment might be in cash, electronic bank transfer, bank order, or cheque.

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