If the airline doesn’t let you board the plane, you may be entitled to a denied boarding compensation. Your passenger rights are protected by several regulations when you’re victim of a boarding denial at no fault of your own. Learn more about your rights and what to do when you’re being denied boarding.

      When Are You Eligible for Denied Boarding Compensation?

      In order to be eligible for denied boarding, the following conditions must be met:

      𑂽 You were denied boarding because the plane was overbooked (the airline sold more tickets than there are seats on the plane) or because the airline changed the aircraft to a smaller one
      𑂽 You did not volunteer to abandon your seat, in exchange for a voucher, airline miles, or any other benefits
      𑂽 You were not denied boarding because of your own fault (e.g. late arrival at the gate, security or health risk, missing travel documents, etc.)

      Compensations for boarding denials are only granted to passengers who were victims of a flight overbooking by the airline or a change of aircraft causing the lack of enough seats on the plane. 

      If you arrived late at the gate, didn’t have the required travel documents, or represented a security or health concern, the airline doesn’t owe you a compensation. You are also not entitled to compensation if you voluntarily surrendered your seat. 


      How Much Can You Claim As Denied Boarding Compensation?

      The compensation amount for boarding denials is changes depending on the applicable regulation. 

      Denied boarding compensation according to EC261

      EC261 is the EU law that protects passenger rights in the EU. It is applicable to:
      𑂽 All flights that depart from the EU airspace, no matter the airline
      𑂽 Flights that arrive in the EU if they are operated by an EU-based airline 

      Note that the EU airspace doesn’t only cover the EU. It also includes Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, along with the “outermost regions” - i.e. Madeira, the Azores, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, La Reunion, Saint-Martin, and the Canary Islands.

      Here’s a summary of when your flight is covered by EC261:

      Travel itinerary EU carrier Non-EU carrier
      From EU to EU Covered Covered
      From EU to non-EU Covered Covered
      From out of EU to EU Covered Not covered
      From out of EU to non-EU Not covered Not covered


      According to EC261, the amount of the denied boarding compensation is determined by the distance of your flight and its itinerary (vis-à-vis the EU):

      Flight distance and itinerary Compensation amount
      All flights 1,500km or less 250€
      Internal EU flights over 1,500km 400€
      Non-internal EU flights between 1,500-3,500km 400€
      Non-internal EU flights over 3,500km 600€


      Were you denied boarding because the flight was overbooked?

      Get up to 600€ in compensation. Check your flight in less than 3 minutes!

          Denied boarding compensation according to US regulations

          All flights departing from the US are subject to US regulations on boarding denials, be they domestic or international flights. If you are denied boarding against your will through no fault of your own when departing from the US, you are entitled to compensation for boarding denial under US regulations.

          Note that if you are denied boarding when departing from the US and the flight for Europe is operated by an EU airline, then you are covered by both the EU and US laws. However, you are only eligible to one, so claim the compensation that is the most beneficial to you. 

          First of all, in the US, the airline will offer you a rerouting if they deny you boarding against your will. 

          You are entitled to 400% of the price of your one-way ticket (limited to $1,350) as well as the refund of the extra fees you have paid as part of your reservation, when applicable (e.g. additional luggage, seat upgrade, etc.) if they do not provide you with a rerouting.

          When they do rebook you on an alternate flight to your destination, the denied boarding compensation amount is calculated according to 2 criteria:

          • The delay at your final destination
          • The itinerary (domestic or international flight)

          Here’s how much you can claim for each scenario:

          Delay at arrival 0-1 hour 1-2 hours 2-4 hours 4+ hours
          US domestic flight No compensation 200% of one-way fare (cannot exceed $675) 400% of one-way fare (cannot exceed $1,350) 400% of one-way fare (cannot exceed $1,350)
          International flight No compensation 200% of one-way fare (cannot exceed $675) 200% of one-way fare (cannot exceed $675) 400% of one-way fare (cannot exceed $1,350)


          Read more about passenger rights in the USA


          Denied boarding compensation in Canada

          You are also entitled to a denied boarding compensation in Canada, when your flight is overbooked or the airline changes the aircraft due to maintenance and the new plane is smaller. 

          Like EU and US regulations, the airline must start by asking for volunteers who accept to surrender their seats. Doing so, however, results in surrendering your right to compensation. 

          How much you can claim as compensation for boarding denial under Canadian law varies according to the length of the delay at arrival at their final destination: 

          Length of the delay Compensation amount
          0-6 hours C$900
          6-9 hours C$1,800
          9+ hours C$2,400


          Canadian regulations state that the airline must pay compensation before departure, or within 48h at the latest if they are unable to comply. A supplement must be paid if the delay is longer than expected (e.g. you reach your destination 7 hours late instead of 5 hours). 

          Read more about passenger rights in Canada


          Bumped off a flight?

          Claim the money the airline owes you!

              What To Do When You’re Denied Boarding?

                   𑂽 Do not volunteer to give up on your seat in exchange for benefits (voucher, airline miles, or other perks) that are not the compensation planned by the law

                   𑂽 Keep your travel documents (especially your boarding pass)

                   𑂽 Request a written confirmation that you were denied boarding against your will, either because of flight overbooking or a change of aircraft. This will greatly improve your chances of getting compensated. 

                   𑂽 Get an alternative flight or a ticket refund

                   𑂽 If you have to wait at least 2 hours for your alternative flight, request a meal and refreshment

                   𑂽 If you have to wait 6 hours or more, you can also request free accommodation to rest, along with transportation between there and the airport

                   𑂽 Keep all receipts of expenses that resulted from your being denied boarding and claim a refund

                   𑂽 Claim compensation for involuntary boarding denial 


              How To Claim Compensation For Boarding Denial?

              Most regulations state that the airline must pay compensation directly at the airport. However, in reality, it’s rare that you’ll get paid there. Instead, you’ll have to claim compensation after you’ve reached your final destination. 

              Many passengers either lack the time or legal knowledge to claim compensation on their own, or simply do not want to undertake actions against the airline, although this is their right. 

              If this applies to you, know that ClaimCompass can handle the entire process for you.

              𑂽 We let you know quickly if you’re entitled to compensation.
              𑂽 We take care of the communication with the airline and, if necessary, legal actions.
              𑂽 We work on a “no win, no fee” basis: we only take a commission if you receive your compensation. There are no risks for you. 

              Check if you're eligible NOW!


                  Why do boarding denials happen?

                  Passengers are usually denied boarding as a result of a flight overbooking. This happens when the airline has sold more tickets than there are seats on the plane. Learn more about overbooked flight compensation.

                  It's also possible for passengers to be denied boarding because they cannot present the required travel documents, generally visas. 


                  Who can be denied boarding?

                  If the flight is overbooked, the airline first needs to ask for volunteers to surrender their seat. If there aren't any or enough volunteers, the airline staff will randomly choose passengers that won't be able to board the plane. Anyone can be picked, at the exception of:

                  • passengers with reduced mobility and those accompanying them
                  • children traveling on their own