Denied Boarding Compensation

Overbooking is a common practice in the airline industry today. Airlines will commonly oversell a flight (by selling more seats than available) to compensate for passengers who do not show up on the day of the flight.


Were you denied boarding?

I have my flight number OR I don’t have my flight number

This practice, however, creates a problem for passengers on flights where there are not enough no-shows – and therefore, not enough seats, even though the booking was reserved and confirmed correctly.

In these cases, airlines will generally offer vouchers, upgrades, points or cash to passengers willing to voluntarily give up their seat and fly at a later time. Such a case is considered “voluntary denied boarding”, and therefore the passenger would not be eligible for compensation.

Specifically, under EU Regulation EC 261/04 regarding passenger rights, any passenger involuntarily denied boarding on an overbooked flight departing from an EU airport, regardless of airline or destination, is eligible for compensation of up to £540*. Additionally, passengers overbooked on flights inbound to the EU operated by an EU carrier are also eligible. What is more, this regulation also establishes compensations for flight delays, flight cancellations and missed connections. In these cases, there is a minimum delay of 3 hours to trigger refund payments. However, in the case of involuntary denied boarding due to overbooking, the passenger is automatically eligible for compensation and the airline is still obliged to provide an alternative mode of transport or a refund of the ticket. However, passengers denied boarding as a result of travelling with invalid travel documents (or without a valid visa) will not be eligible for a refund for overbooking.

To claim your right to compensation for overbooking with Flight Reclaim, simply key in your flight data here. We’ll tell you right away if you’re entitled to a refund, and to what amount exactly. If the airline refuses to pay, we’ll even take your case to court at no extra fee. Our Europe-wide network of passenger rights lawyers has a proven track record in obtaining compensation from airlines for our clients. Once the airline has paid out your compensation, we’ll keep our sector-low commission and transfer the rest of your money directly to your bank account!

*Estimate based on fluctuating value of €600

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Denied Boarding FAQ

How much you can claim from the airline depends on the distance of your original itinerary. If you were involuntarily denied boarding due to overbooking, then you may be entitled to the following refunds:
Distance Claim Value Based On
Up to 1500 km £220 €250
1500 km to 3500 km £360 €400
More than 3500 km £540 €600

Cases of involuntary denied boarding due to overbooking covered by EU 261/2004 are those where the flight departs from any EU airport, regardless of airline or destination, as well as flights into the EU operated by an EU carrier.

Involuntary denied boarding due to overbooking on the following hypothetical flights would entitle you to up to £540*.

Berlin – Frankfurt operated by Lufthansa
Berlin – London operated by Delta
Miami – Frankfurt operated by Lufthansa

The following, however, would not be covered by EU 261:

Miami – Frankfurt operated by Delta

* Estimate of fluctuating value of €600

According to EU Regulation 261/2004, you can claim back as far as 6 years if you were involuntarily denied boarding.
No. Passengers from any nationality can claim if their flight is covered by the EU Regulation 261/2004 as described in FAQ 2.
For refunds for involuntarily denied boarding as a result of overbooking, we currently operate with an average case resolution time of about 100 days. However, this may vary based on the airline and the route. Cases resolved in court can take a few months.

Once the airline agrees to settle your compensation for the delayed flight (or a court rules that the airline must pay you the compensation), Flight Reclaim will receive the entire sum. We will then deduct our commission of 25% (plus a £25 administration fee)plus VAT and transfer you the balance via a cheque or bank transfer.

Once we’ve received the payment we’ll ask you for your details and preferred method of payment, and 48 hours after the payment is made we’ll delete this data to ensure your data is protected.

On occasion the airline will pay the passenger directly. At this point we will only invoice for our services once we know the compensation has been paid to you by the airline.

Find out more about what we do for our fees

It is generally understood that the standard compensation payment should cover additional expenses incurred by the passenger. To streamline and accelerate the claiming process, we will only make a claim for additional expenses if accompanying a flight disruption claim and if all receipts are provided.

Our Simple 3 Step Process


Fill in our online claim form. It only takes 2 minutes


Our aviation experts and lawyers enforce your rights to compensation


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