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If you have been denied boarding due to an overbooking, you might be entitled to EUR 600.
Refundmore recommends you seek professional assistance to get the compensation you might be eligible for, unless you want to take on the airline yourself, which, unfortunately, often refuses claims received directly by passengers.
If you want to know whether you are eligible for compensation, please try our calculator
Before you start reading about your rights in the event of an overbooking, remember to always demand documentation from the airline that confirms you have been denied boarding.
When a flight is cancelled, the affected passenger often receives a text message or an e-mail, wherein the airline informs the passenger of the cancellation. This does not happen when passengers are denied boarding and the reason why is clear. If the passenger can’t prove the overbooking, then the airline does not have to pay the compensation.
Refundmore recommends all passengers make contact with the airline at the time of the denied boarding and demand documentation that confirms the overbooking. Please note that the documentation has to be dated, stamped and signed. Otherwise, it will be challenging to prove you were denied boarding.
Denied boarding may occur when an airline is seeking to maximise its profit and sells more tickets than there are available seats on the aircraft. On an average flight, there will typically be a few absentee passengers. For certain departures, where all passengers are present, the airline is forced to deny some passengers boarding. This is called commercial overbooking.
Boarding denials are a great nuisance to passengers who suffer lost time. With the passage of recent regulations, the number of overbookings has decreased. However, it does still happen that passengers are denied boarding, and in those cases, passengers are surely entitled to compensation if the passengers can prove it.
If you have been denied boarding as a result of overbooking, according to EC-Regulation 261/2004, you are eligible for compensation if:
Airlines have the right to deny a passenger boarding if the passenger represents a safety risk for the flight. Passengers will not be entitled to compensation in these cases.
If you made an arrangement with the airline and voluntarily gave up your seat, your right to a standard EU compensation might be void. Read more about this in the section “if you voluntarily agree to give up your seat”.
When the airline denies you to board, you have the right to make use of the following three options:
Please note: Once you’ve chosen an option and notified the airline, you are not permitted to change your choice.
The exact size of the financial compensation depends on the flight distance:
In some cases, the airline reserves the right to reduce the size of compensation by up to 50%. This might happen if you are rebooked to another departure and do not arrive later than:
When an overbooking occurs, you may experience several hours of waiting before getting rerouted to another departure. Bear in mind that the airline is required to offer you:
If the airline has not offered you any of the above-mentioned services, and you have incurred extra expenses due to the overbooking - the airline must reimburse the expenses. This applies as long as you can document the purchases with receipts.
Mostly, the airlines will ask you to voluntarily give up your seat for an allowance which may consist of cash, vouchers, seat upgrading etc. This is typically offered as compensation due to the overbooking. Often, the offered cash/voucher is not the amount specified in the Regulations. If you accept an amount lesser than the amount specified in the Regulations, you have made an agreement with the airline and cannot expect the rest later.
It may also happen that the airline offers you a reimbursement of the fare and potential compensation, which may be lower than the actual compensation you are entitled to. If you accept this offer, the airline is not responsible for rebooking you.
If you have made similar arrangements - and voluntarily agreed to give up your seat - your right to compensation may be void. Never give up your seat for an amount lower than what the law stipulates.
When registering a case at Refundmore we’ll investigate your case thoroughly and may collect compensation from the airline. It only takes two minutes to register a case with the help of our calculator.
If Refundmore wins your case and the claim leads to a payout, our client pays the service fee equivalent to a maximum of 30 % of the amount paid out.
If Refundmore finds it necessary to send the case to court in order to receive the payment from the airline, an extra court fee equivalent to a maximum of 15 % will be added to the pricing. This is due to the extra work which the internal and external lawyers and paralegals will be carrying out to win your case. It is free of risk for our clients as Refundmore does not charge any fee if the claim does not lead to a payment - whether the case has been sent to court or not.
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