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TUI Denied Boarding: Getting Compensated for an Overbooked Flight

TUI Denied Boarding: Getting Compensated for an Overbooked Flight
Jeremiah Awogboro
Written By Jeremiah Awogboro
Last Updated: May 10, 2024

Things haven’t returned to the 2019 performance level, where TUI served 18.2 million passengers. The carrier managed 1.161 million passengers in 2022, a far cry from just a few years prior. Even so, the carrier hasn’t had much fuss about overbooking and denied boarding in recent years.

The cancellation of over 180 flights in 2022 damaged the carrier’s reputation. Nonetheless, the chances of getting on a bumped flight are relatively small. A Mumsnet user, 285NeuerNamen, was confident after TUI operations staff confirmed that the carrier does not overbook its flights.

We certainly hope you don’t get bumped on a TUI flight. However, AirAdvisor is here to help you understand your rights and get the TUI denied boarding compensation you deserve. For that, we will review the regulations while our AirAdvisor experts happily wait to guide you through the actual compensation process.

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What is Denied Boarding and Why Would TUI Do It?

Sometimes, a few passengers do not show up for their flights. That will leave a few seats empty on the flight. The result will be a revenue loss as the flight will be under its rated capacity. You can refer to the 2023 financial report, where the carrier puts denied boarding compensation as a net loss in revenue.

Air carriers have happily turned to overbooking to maximize each flight capacity, ensuring all seats are taken before the flight takes off. To do this, they sell more tickets than the available seats. While the practice works out for them, it can leave a few passengers stranded and frustrated.

Expect TUI to call for volunteers to give up their seats first if it has an overbooked flight. The volunteers can negotiate for cheques and vouchers or get an alternative flight. However, there’s no guarantee that the carrier will always have enough volunteers.

Denied boarding comes when the carrier stops you from boarding the flight even though you have a confirmed reservation. They do that because there aren’t any more seats for you. Still, they often follow fair boarding practices when picking who to bump off the flight.

tui airplane in the grey sky

Regulations and Your Passenger Rights if TUI Denies Your Boarding Because of Overbooking

You are not automatically eligible for cash compensation once TUI denies you boarding involuntarily. That will work with voluntary denied boarding if that was your agreement with the carrier. Notwithstanding, you can exercise your passenger rights when involuntary denied boarding comes into play.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority provides the legal framework for things TUI must do if they deny you boarding. Besides that, the carrier has internal corporate commitments to ensure good customer service and maintain a good reputation.

Your flight must depart from a UK airport before you are eligible for compensation under UK laws. Otherwise, you would have to look up compensation in the flight’s home country. The EU laws will also apply if the flight takes off from an airport within the EU.

With that in mind, here’s what you can expect if TUI denies you boarding:

Involuntary Denied Boarding

TUI is obliged to assist if you get bumped from an overbooked flight. That is because the bumped flight experience is due to not your fault. Nonetheless, expect less-than-stellar customer service when it happens. Contact an AirAdvisor expert to guide you through the compensation process.

You have a few rights when involuntarily denied boarding under UK regulations. 

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The right to a refund or an alternative flight

TUI should fit you on the next available flight if you so desire. However, doing that might make you ineligible for complete compensation. The carrier might not pay compensation if it gets you to your destination soon enough.

You can request a refund if the alternative flight no longer serves the purpose of your travels. This right often applies if you pay for multiple connecting flights. The carrier can refund you for the bumped flight, take you back to your starting point, or provide a refund.

AirAdvisor can provide expert advice on how to request a refund. That is because you must prove that the delay has made your intended travel purpose inviable.

The right to care

You are eligible to receive care from TUI if the alternative flight is delayed beyond 2 hours. Remember that the carrier must find a flight with an empty seat to accommodate you. That could be immediately after getting bumped or the next day.

The right to care means that TUI takes care of your meals, accommodation, and refreshments commensurate with your wait hours. 

Depending on your situation, here’s what the carrier must provide:

  • Meals or refreshments
  • Hotel accommodation if the delay turns into an overnight stay
  • Transport to and from the hotel

 If TUI cannot provide that service, you can find a hotel on your own, and the airline will reimburse you a reasonable amount. Always keep receipts for out-of-pocket expenses so you can submit these as part of your compensation claim. Note that alcohol will not be reimbursed.

Telephone calls and emails will be available to ensure you stay connected. Regulations allow for two telephone calls, but the carrier can provide more if it so desires.

in airport terminal

Voluntary Denied Boarding

TUI will present overbooked flight compensation to volunteers. The carrier will also offer to provide an alternative flight. Even so, you can negotiate for other perks.

There is no fixed compensation when you volunteer to get bumped. You can get a better deal than the next volunteer, and vice versa. It depends mostly on your negotiating power, but the carrier does have its limits.

Wizz Air is famous for its pay-what-you-bid compensation system. Volunteers can use the app before even coming to the airport. Conversely, your negotiations with TUI will occur primarily at the boarding gate with the agents.

The right to volunteer is open to everyone. Listen to when the gate agents call out for volunteers. Otherwise, the agent will ask you privately when checking your boarding ticket.

Your Other Rights When Denied Boarding

You can request the denied boarding compensation policy from TUI. This document will tell you everything you need to know about your secondary rights when denied boarding. In addition, you can confirm with the salesperson if your flight is overbooked.

Did Wizz Air overbook your flight and deny you boarding without your consent?

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TUI Denied Boarding Compensation: How Much You Are Entitled To

The table below shows how much TUI is obliged to pay depending on how long the alternative flight delays last:

Flight Distance

Delay Time


Short-haul flights below 1,500 km

Two hours or more


Short-haul flights below 1,500 km

Less than two hours


Medium-haul flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km

Three hours or more


Medium-haul flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km

Less than three hours


Long-haul flights of over 3,500 km

Four hours or more


Long-haul flights of over 3,500 km

Less than four hours


You must have checked into your flight on time before you are eligible for the above compensation. Coming late and getting bumped might mean you were simply late for boarding and the gate was closed. That will be a different case of missing your flight.

What to Do If TUI Overbooked Your Flight and You Were Denied Boarding Involuntarily

Our AirAdvisor experts have handled compensation cases for over 200,000 passengers. Hence, we are well acquainted with the process and its bottlenecks. Your best chance of having stress-free compensation is by working with us.

Here’s what to do if you were bumped from an overbooked TUI flight:

  1. Keep and make copies of your boarding pass, reference number, tickets, reservation confirmation, luggage tag, and other documents that confirm your booking for that flight.
  2. Make copies of receipts when paying for meals, refreshments, and accommodation if the alternative flight is significantly delayed.
  3. Contact our AirAdvisor compensation experts from the homepage.
  4. Provide all documents and follow the guide to ensure a smooth process.

boarding stairs

Exceptions: When You Are Not Eligible for Compensation

Getting bumped for reasons other than overbooking will make you ineligible for compensation in this regard. For example, safety conditions may require the aircraft to shed weight and as a result, deny boarding to some passengers. Notwithstanding, most exceptions will come from violating the carrier’s fair boarding policies.

TUI Policy

You must avoid unruly behaviour when boarding a TUI flight and other carriers. Any aggression towards other passengers and the airline staff may get you bumped. Similarly, intoxication from drugs, alcohol, or other banned substances may result in denied boarding.

Expert Tips

  • Keep expenses within a reasonable amount when faced with flight delays and non-provision of meals and accommodation from the carrier.
  • Obtain a statement from the gate agent on why you were bumped. This will establish your eligibility for compensation if you were involuntarily denied boarding.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait for my compensation after filing the claim?

You should wait 14 days after TUI has informed you of its decision to make the payment. The cheque will be sent directly to you.

Can I file compensation claims for other passengers who were denied boarding?

You can submit compensation claims for other passengers as the lead passenger. However, ensure you receive and present consent from other passengers.

Can I consult legal or third-party advisers before submitting compensation claims?

TUI allows passengers to consult legal or third-party advisers, like AirAdvisor. You will increase your chances of stress-free compensation.

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