‘Denied boarding’ is the case where you report to the gate in time and with the necessary documents, but are denied access to the plane. Denied boarding can be justified, however. For example, in the case of:
- a problem with the travel documents
- health reasons
- reasons of safety or security
Were you denied boarding for other reasons, such as overbooking, for example? Discover everything you need to know about this here:
- What are you entitled to in case of unjustified denied boarding?
- What damages can you claim?
- What happens in case of overbooking?
In case of unjustified denied boarding, you are entitled to:
- an alternative flight or refund of your ticket
- meals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time
- two free-of-charge phone calls, e-mails or fax messages
- overnight stay at a hotel and transport to the hotel if you were booked on another flight.
Regardless of whether you opt for an alternative flight or a refund of your reservation, you are entitled to claim financial compensation (per passenger) in the case of unjustified denied boarding of up to:
- € 250 for flights up to and including 1,500 km
- € 400 for flights exceeding 1,500 km within the European Union, and for flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km outside of the EU
- € 600 for other flights
This amount can be halved, however, if you are offered an alternative flight for which the arrival time:
- is within 2 hours after your original arrival time for a distance of 1,500 km or less
- is within 3 hours after your original arrival time for a distance exceeding 1,500 km within the European Union, and for a distance between 1,500 and 3,500 km outside of the EU
- is within 4 hours after your original arrival time for other flights
Some airlines sell more tickets than there are seats available in the plane, and, as a result, it can happen that a passenger is not allowed to board the flight. This is overbooking.
What happens when the airline becomes aware that the flight is overbooked? They must first ask if there are any volunteers willing to take another flight – including a number of benefits. These are not fixed, so the airline and the passenger can negotiate on this.
What happens if there are no volunteers? The airline will then deny access to the aircraft for certain passengers, against their will. In such a case of denied boarding, travellers are entitled to:
- an alternative flight or refund of the flight
- meals, refreshments and possibly hotel accommodation
- the compensation mentioned above