Right to compensation for your flight being overbooked

Were you in time at the check-in desk, but prevented from boarding the flight? It’s possible that the airline overbooked your flight. Did you arrive at your destination with more than three hours’ delay, and did the airline not give you a satisfactory reason why you were denied boarding? According to Regulation 261/2004 you may be entitled to compensation.

To be entitled to compensation, your flight must meet the following requirements:

  • You flew from an EU country
  • Or you flew from outside the EU to a country within the EU with a European airline
  • You arrived with more than three hours’ delay at your final destination

With denied boarding, it is important that your boarding pass was printed at the airport so we can show that you were there on time. There are some situations when airlines may deny boarding to passengers in which case you have no right to compensation. Valid reasons to deny boarding include health concerns, incomplete travel documents and security reasons.

Example: you are flying with British Airways from London Heathrow to Bangkok. At the gate, you show a member of the ground crew an ID card. As a valid passport is required for most travels outside of the EU, British Airways is allowed to prevent you from boarding the plane. You are not entitled to compensation.

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Amount of compensation

If you are entitled to compensation, the amount is based on the distance of the flight.

How much compensation are you entitled to?

Flight destinations within the EU

  • €250 (£225*) compensation for a flight of up to 1,500 km
  • €400 (£360*) compensation for a flight of more than 1,500 km

Flight destinations outside the EU

  • €250 (£225*) compensation for a flight of up to 1,500 km
  • €400 (£360*) compensation for a flight between 1,500 km and 3,500 km
  • €600 (£535*) compensation for a flight of more than 3,500 km

When the distance of a flight exceeds 3,500 km and arrives with a delay between three and four hours, you are entitled to 50% of the compensation amount.

*Compensation calculated October’17 rate of £1: €1.12 and rounded to the nearest £5.

Financial compensation for denied boarding

If you were denied boarding, we can give you free advice on whether you are entitled to compensation. All we need are your flight details. Fill in your flight number and date and you will immediately receive advice. Submit your claim with EUclaim and we will take care of the entire process on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.

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Your rights regarding denied boarding

If the airline cannot give you a reason why you can’t board the flight, you are entitled to a replacement flight. If you are not satisfied with the alternative flight offered, you have the right to cancel the booking and receive a full refund for the cost of the ticket.

Our success stories


Flight delayed for about 5 hours, but the airline was claiming a delayed departure time that was not accurate. I had no access to official records in order to rebut this so I contacted EUclaim.

Bermeo Sanchez

The airline never answered my emails or calls. EUclaim did its job perfectly fine, dealt with the airline and got my money. It took a while since the airline did not seem to wanna pay, but it all ended up well.

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