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TAP Portugal Overbooking: Compensation for Denied Boarding

TAP Portugal Overbooking: Compensation for Denied Boarding
Joanna Teljeur
Written By Joanna Teljeur
Last Updated: July 09, 2024

Are you wondering what rights you have if Tap Portugal denies you boarding even after showing up on time? Yes, you have rights under the law, including the right to compensation, assistance, or complimentary service. We cannot control when Tap Portugal overbooking occurs, but the carrier is obliged to treat bumped passengers with fairness and stellar service.

Tap Portugal soared to 15.6 million passengers in 2023, a 15.2% increase from the 2022 numbers. The chances of getting bumped on its flights are slim, even though it still overbooks its flights. Nonetheless, you should know your rights when that happens to avoid unnecessary stress.

Our compensation experts at AirAdvisor have helped over 260,000 passengers fly confidently after addressing their compensation claims. Whether flying Tap Portugal from the UK or the US, your compensation is guaranteed if the carrier bumps you. With that in mind, here’s an in-depth review of your rights and how to act when denied boarding against your will.

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All you have to do is submit the application and wait for the compensation to be received.

How Involuntary Denied Boarding Happens and Why Tap Portugal Does It

Involuntary denied boarding is not an everyday experience. However, overbooking, a primary cause, is typical in the aviation industry.

Once there aren’t any more seats on a plane, the boarding agent may ask a few passengers to wait behind. That often happens to passengers who come late. However, boarding agents may bump early passengers to make way for a higher-priority boarding group. You can refer to the carrier’s boarding priority policy to know where you belong.

Ticket overselling happens when Tap Portugal, in this case, sells tickets to more passengers than the plane can carry. Hence, more passengers with confirmed reservations can show up for the flight. Of course, a few passengers must stay back and use another flight since the plane has no more seats to carry them.

Overbooking is very much legal under UK and US laws. However, bumped passengers must receive fair treatment and be compensated for their troubles. This is where our compensation experts at AirAdvisor come in.

Tap Portugal's head of strategy, Henri-Charles Ozarovsky, states that the carrier uses buffers and cooperation with airports to avoid operational uncertainty. Hence, its denied boarding incidents aren’t occurring often enough to cause a PR disaster.

Some carriers provide compensation immediately at the airport. Others may delay the payment, sometimes enough to provoke passengers into anger.

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Regulations and Passenger Rights When Tap Portugal Denies You Boarding

We don't want you to miss out on the cash compensation simply because you are unaware of it. Hence, our efforts at expounding on your passenger rights and steps to getting compensated. Everything can be simple and smooth, provided you know how to submit valid claims when denied boarding.

The EU261 Regulation and the US Department of Transportation guarantee compensation when denied boarding involuntarily, but this applies only to overbooked flights. It is one of the first checks carriers make when reviewing your compensation claims.

You can rule out any uncertainty by checking your flight with AirAdvisor before submitting your claims. Note that you will only need to submit a claim if Tap Portugal does not compensate you immediately at the airport. When that happens, we recommend focusing on getting to your destination first instead of following the customer service rep for compensation.

Tap Portugal’s overbooked flight compensation applies if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are flying from an EU or US airport
  • You have a confirmed booking.
  • You presented yourself for check-in as per the carrier’s boarding policy
  • Your fare is directly or indirectly available to the public.
  • Your ticket is part of a frequent flyer or commercial flyer programme
  • Tap Air Portugal is the flight’s operating carrier
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AirAdvisor is happy to help with your claim, so you can avoid the stress of dealing with airlines and complicated laws.

Involuntary Denied Boarding

The primary downside to getting bumped on an oversold flight is that you may miss a crucial schedule. Tap Portugal will offer an alternative flight, but that may not be quick enough to reach your destination on time. Moreover, the alternative flight depends on seat availability.

An alternative flight or re-routing is part of the compensation package when bumped. Some US and UK airlines offer flights on other carriers if they can’t get you one of their own seats in time. Rebooking will occur at no extra cost. Nonetheless, keep your ears and eyes open for information on the new ticket and flight schedule. The new flight might come immediately or a few hours later. Overnight waiting periods are also possible.

Tap Portugal will offer monetary compensation when it denies you boarding involuntarily. The payment should be available immediately at the airport, but sometimes it comes after you’ve boarded the rebooked flight to your destination.

There’s no need to panic, even if you arrive at your destination and Tap Portugal has yet to pay the compensation. Speak with an AirAdvisor compensation expert if your bumped flight occurred months ago. Tap Portugal may still owe you compensation, provided you can prove that the flight was oversold. That is where our experts come in, with our vast experience in handling claims effectively.

Voluntary Denied Boarding

Tap Portugal does not have an exclusive programme to identify volunteers quickly. Other airlines, like Wizz Air and Virgin Atlantic, are more effective in handling volunteers and avoiding bumping passengers. Nonetheless, Tap Portugal will invite volunteers first before opting for involuntarily denied boarding.

We expect the boarding agent to ask a few passengers to volunteer their seats. Of course, compensation packages are available, but to be part of it will depend on your negotiating power and the demand for volunteers.

Our recommendation while negotiating is to find out everything about the limitations of the incentives. Typically, carriers offer discounts, travel vouchers, or tickets but they may come with lots of blackout dates and restrictions

Besides the benefits, you have the following rights when volunteering:

  • refund of the total price of the unused flight segment or segments
  • A refund of the used segments if the flight no longer serves your travel plans.
  • Rerouting under similar conditions to your destination at the earliest opportunity
  • Rerouting under similar conditions to your destination at a later date

Tap Portugal will inform you if it accepts you as a volunteer. We see no reason why it shouldn’t if it wants to avoid bumping passengers. Nevertheless, confirm before making any moves.

Your Other Rights When Bumped

As mentioned, your alternative flight may be a few hours late. It is up to the carrier to take care of your needs and offer support until you get onboard. Hence, you have the following rights when bumped:

  • The right to meals and refreshments, depending on how long you wait. Tap Portugal may offer drinks (excluding alcohol), meals, and snacks.
  • The right to telephone calls, faxes, or emails.
  • The right to accommodation if the alternative flight requires an overnight stay. Tap Portugal will drive you to and from the hotel.

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Tap Portugal Overbooking: The Involuntary Denied Boarding Compensation

The table below shows the denied boarding compensation for those flying from the UK:

Flight Distance

Compensation

Within 1,500 km

£220

Between 1,500 km and 3,500 km

£350

Above 3,500 km

£520

Tap Portugal may reduce the compensation by half if you accept a rebooking and the arrival time is:

  • Within two hours of your original arrival time for 1,500 km or less
  • Within three hours of your original arrival time for 1,500 km to 3,500 km
  • Within four hours of your original arrival time for over 3,500 km.

The denied boarding compensation for those flying from the US is as follows:

Time difference on arrival

Compensation

Limit

Within one hour

Nil

Nil

Between one hour and four hours

200% of your one-way fare

$775

Over four hours

400% of your one-way fare

$1,550

Tap Portugal may add a 75% bonus to the vouchers if you purchase tickets or services for its flights.

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AirAdvisor’s prices have often been 5% lower than competitors.

What to Do After Getting Bumped

Do the following if you’ve been bumped from a Tap Portugal flight:

  1. Confirm that overbooking is the cause of the involuntary denied boarding
  2. Obtain information about your rebooked flight.
  3. Ask for meals and refreshments if you wait for more than two hours.
  4. Contact an AirAdvisor expert immediately to prepare your compensation claim.

Exceptions: When Tap Portugal Bumps Passengers Without Compensation

Regulations allow bumping without compensation if the following occur:

  • The carrier switches to a smaller aircraft with fewer seats.
  • The plane has less than 30 seats.
  • Weight and balance restrictions.

Tap Portugal Policy

Incomplete travel documentation is enough to get a passenger bumped without compensation. Other reasons include health and safety concerns.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change my denied boarding compensation to travel vouchers?

Tap Portugal will compensate you through travel vouchers with your written consent. However, the vouchers may have restrictions, like ineligibility for use during the holidays.

When should I expect the refund if I’m bumped from a flight?

The carrier will refund you within seven days. You can opt for electronic bank transfers, wire transfers, or bank checks.

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