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How Do I Claim Compensation for Denied Boarding?

Did you know about denied boarding compensation? When you check in at the desk, and provide all required information, but are denied boarding, what do you do next? In many cases, it simply means that the flight was overbooked and the airline needed to leave someone or a few people behind to make up for it.

If you ever find yourself in such a situation, this article will guide you on what to do and how to claim compensation for the inconvenience.

What is the Denied Boarding Compensation About?

The denied boarding compensation is under the EU 261/2004 regulation that protects the rights of air passengers in severe flight disruptions. Under this regulation, affected passengers may be entitled to between 250 and 600 euros in compensation. You are also entitled to immediate complimentary meals and drinks. If you were delayed for longer hours without any plan for a replacement flight, then you are also entitled to a free hotel booking to spend the night.

The exact amount you get in compensation is calculated based on the flight distance covered and not the ticket price. This is broken down as follows:

  • €250 compensation for a delayed flight up to 1500 km
  • €400 compensation for a delayed flight between 1500 and 3500 km
  • €600 compensation for a delayed flight exceeding 3500 km

Do I Meet the Criteria?

To be entitled to the denied boarding compensation, you must meet the following criteria:


  • You have a valid ticket and booking confirmation.
  • You checked in on time, which is usually at least 45 minutes before departure.
  • Your flight is departing from an EU member state.
  • Your flight is arriving at an EU member state with a European airline
  • You arrived at your destination three or more hours later than the originally scheduled time.
  • The flight was operated within the last three years.

How Do I Claim Compensation?

Step 1: Know why you were denied boarding

Overbooking by the airline is often the reason for being denied boarding but you should still ask the airline for documentation purposes. Get them to put it into writing, as you would need it later to claim compensation.

Step 2: Get on another flight

Start working on getting another flight immediately. The airline should generally provide you with a replacement flight, although it might take longer. Check for notifications or stay at the information desk to know what is next.

Step 3: Claim compensation

Under European law, you are within every right to claim compensation for this inconvenience caused. So, get familiar with your rights and start gathering your documents. Reach out to the airline to fill out their compensation form and get your coins.

Step 4: Seek help

Claiming compensation is not always a walk in the park but you can always seek help. You can either hire an attorney or get an established firm like Flightright involved. It makes the process easier for you.

Bottom Line

No one enjoys being denied boarding, as it can mess with their plans. However, if it ever happens to you, you now know what to do based on this article.

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