Denied boarding

Millions of air passengers travel each year, but a large number do not realize that there are air passenger rights to protect them while in transit. AirHelp can explain your rights, and help you claim the compensation you’re entitled to.


Flight delays or cancellations aren’t the only problems you can face while flying. Airlines often sell 5%-15% more tickets for a specific flight than there are a number of seats on the plane, because it is assumed that not all passengers will show up for the flight. Such a case is called “overbooking”. It is an established phenomenon in the modern civil aviation industry.

Often it happens that not all passengers show up for the flight and their seats remain empty. To avoid such cases and to fill empty seats, some airlines resort to the practice of “overbooking”. However, due to “overbooking” it is possible that some passengers are “extra” and in such a case the airline has to refuse them boarding. It is certainly the airline’s fault and it is obliged to pay the passenger flight compensation in the amount of up to 600 euros .

In such situations, airlines offer passengers various vouchers or other benefits and in return require that the passenger “voluntarily” give up a seat on the flight to another passenger and travel on the next flight. If the passenger agrees to the airline’s offer and voluntarily gives up his/her seat to another passenger, he/she loses the right to claim flight compensation.

If the passenger does not agree to the airline’s offer, the airline will have to forcefully remove the passenger from the flight and refuse boarding. In such a case, the passenger has the right to request flight compensation from the airline.

During denied boarding, a passenger may be entitled to claim flight compensation if:

The passenger checked in on time, all travel documents are provided, and there are no objective risks related to the passenger’s safety or health.

You did not voluntarily exchange a seat of flight for the voucher and the bonus.

How is the amount of flight compensation calculated?

Flight compensation can be granted in different amounts and it depends on the amount of distance between the airport of departure and the airport of final destination and is defined as follows:

Distance up to 1500 km – 250€

Distance up to 1500-3500 km – 400€

Distance more than 3500 km – 600€

It does not matter the price of the ticket purchased by the passenger. The passenger is entitled to the flight compensation regardless of the price paid by him/her for the airline ticket.

What should I do during denied boarding?

Do not give up your seat in exchange for a voucher

Ask the airline representatives for an explanation regarding the reason for the refusal

Keep the travel documents (boarding pass, e-ticket, voucher provided by the airline, alternative airline ticket, etc.)

Keep your receipts in case you of additional charges for denied boarding

Provide information about possible flight compensation to other passengers

Contact us, tell our team about your problem in detail and send copies of travel documents


Please note that this information on the rights of passengers during denied boarding is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide passengers with general information only. This information cannot be considered legal advice or a guarantee of compensation or other legal consequences. In order to be able to provide you with legal assistance, our team needs to study the details of a specific case, for which please contact us.

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