Are You Entitled to Compensation for being Denied Boarding?
There has recently been a lot of media attention devoted to claiming compensation from airlines for delayed flights and flight cancellations, and how you can claim for denied boarding when you have been bumped off a flight because it is overbooked.
However, not everybody is clear about what terms and conditions apply before you can claim for being bumped off a flight, and we have compiled this article in order to explain the criteria for claiming compensation for being denied boarding and the easiest way to make a claim.
If you have any questions after reading this article, or you are still unclear about your entitlement to claim for denied boarding, you are invited to call the injurycompensationlaw.co.uk helpline and discuss your case with one of our professional financial claims advisors.
Eligibility to Claim for Denied Boarding
In order to be eligible to claim for denied boarding, you must have been bumped off of a flight that was scheduled to depart from an airport in the European Union, or return to an airport in the European Union with an EU-registered airline. The reason for you being denied boarding must have been attributable to an issue that was within the airline´s control, and any alternative flight you may have been offered must have landed at its destination later than the scheduled time of arrival of your original flight.
The most frequent reason that passengers are denied boarding is over-booking – an “issue” that is obviously within an airline´s control. However, if you have been bumped off a flight because you were considered to be a danger to other passengers or because you were intoxicated, it is unlikely that you will qualify for compensation for being denied boarding.
How to Make a Claim for being Bumped Off a Flight
In order to claim for being bumped off a flight, you should write to the airline explaining why you believe you are entitled to compensation for being denied boarding under EU regulation 261/2004. You will have to provide the airline with details of the flight you were intending to board – such as the flight number, the date, the departure airport and your booking reference – and the details of any alternative flight(s) you were re-routed onto. Your claim for denied boarding should be supported by documentation such as flight tickets and boarding passes.
There is no time limit for airlines to reply to your claim for being bumped off a flight, but if you have not heard anything within eight weeks, it is advisable to contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or the regulator from the country from which your flight was due to depart. The CAA can pursue your claim for denied boarding on your behalf, but has no powers to make the airline pay you compensation for being bumped off a flight.
If you are unable to get satisfaction from the airline company or the CAA, the last resort is to claim compensation for being denied boarding in the small claims court. Unlike a claim for being bumped off a flight made to an airline (which can be back-dated to 2005), you can only make a claim for denied boarding in the small claims court for incidents that have happened in the past six years (past five years in Scotland).
How flight delay claims work
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Call or fill the form
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We check your flight delay
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How Much Compensation for being Bumped Off a Flight?
How much compensation for being bumped off a flight you will be entitled to will depend on the distance you were intending to fly and the time after your original flight was scheduled to land that you eventually arrived at your destination.
The claim for being bumped off a flight will be resolved using the same EU regulation 261/2004 as applies to compensation for delayed flights and for flight cancellations, but with different amounts of compensation for being denied boarding applied:
- If the flight you were denied boarding on was up to 1,500 Km, you are entitled to €125 compensation if an alternative flight offered to you arrived at the destination within two hours of the original scheduled arrival time, or €250 compensation if the alternative flight arrived more than two hours later.
- If your intended flight was between 1,500 Km and 3,500 Km, you are entitled to €200 compensation if the alternative flight arrived at the destination within three hours of the original scheduled arrival time, or €400 compensation if the alternative flight arrived more than three hours late.
- If you were denied boarding on a flight longer than 3,500 Km, you are entitled to €300 compensation if the alternative flight plane arrives at the destination up to four hours late, or €600 compensation if the doors on your re-routed plane are opened more than four hours after the scheduled arrival time of the original flight.
In the event of any dispute about how late an alternative flight arrives at the destination, the time of arrival is recorded as when the doors of the plane are opened to allow passengers to disembark. Flights timings are calculated to leave much longer for flights than they actually take and planes can often make up time while in the air. So a flight could take off 2½ hours after its scheduled departure time, but land only 1½ hours after its scheduled time of arrival.
In the event that you have been denied boarding due to over-booking, the airline must refund the cost of the ticket if you decline the opportunity to take an alternative flight. If you voluntarily give up your seat, how much compensation for being bumped off a flight you are entitled to is not covered by EU regulations and must be decided between you and the airline.
Make a Claim for Denied Boarding the Easy Way with us
With the amounts of compensation for being denied boarding generally much lower than what they are for flight delays or cancellations, many passengers are discouraged from making a claim for being bumped off a flight due to the number of processes they may have to go through.
In many cases, their reluctance to jump through hoops to recover compensation for being bumped off a flight is justified – after all, the airlines know who they have denied boarding to, so why make such a big song and dance about it?
However, there is an easy way to make a claim for denied boarding that eliminates all the aggravation of approaching the airline, the CAA and maybe still having to go through the courts process – and that is by using our injurycompensationlaw.co.uk service.
When you use our injurycompensationlaw.co.uk service, all you have to do is provide us with the information you would have sent to the airline, and we will claim compensation for being bumped off a flight on your behalf. If your claim for denied boarding has to be pursued through the CAA or through the courts, we will take care of that too.
Furthermore, as every claim for denied boarding is handled on a “no-win, no-fee” basis, if your claim is ultimately unsuccessful, you will not owe us a penny for our services. Find out more by calling injurycompensationlaw.co.uk today and having a non-obligatory discussion with one of our professional financial claims advisors.