• 19.March.2024
  • 2 min
  • By: Serena Bhangu

Our resident travel expert Steve Reid offers some advice to people who have been denied boarding or ‘bumped’ off from a flight due to overbooking.

Sadly, it is not uncommon to arrive for a flight and be told that the aircraft is full and that you can’t continue your journey.

Firstly, let’s look at overbooking. This can occur because airlines overbook their carrying capacity on the assumption that not all passengers will turn up for a flight. And so they routinely overbook flights to take into consideration this assumption and, in doing so, hedge their bets that not everyone will show up and their flight is at its optimum capacity.

However, on some occasions, more passengers show up and some are ‘bumped’ from the flight consequently. Usually, when this occurs, the airline will ask for ‘volunteers’ and offer them either cash or vouchers as an incentive to take a later flight. If you do volunteer, be aware that you may also forfeit any rights for additional compensation.

Should none or too few passengers volunteer, it may mean another system is used to de-select passengers from flying. If you are involuntary ‘bumped’ from your flight, the airline must rebook you on the next available flight (even if the next flight is on another airline), and under EU and UK passenger regulations you may be able to claim compensation of up to £520 per passenger, plus any out-of-pocket expenses you incur as a result. Make sure that you keep receipts for such expenses.

To check your eligibility for compensation simply provide us with a few details and we’ll check for you.

Start Your Claim Now

Denied boarding.

Secondly, let’s examine denied boarding scenarios.

You may be denied boarding for the following reasons:

  • You arrive too late at the boarding gate.
  • You do not have the correct documentation, or your passport is out of date.
  • You are deemed to be too intoxicated through alcohol or drugs.
  • You are abusive to staff or other passengers.

The above reasons are sufficient for you to be denied boarding and you would be deemed personally responsible, and the airline would not be held accountable, and no compensation would be due. However, the airline may offer to assist you with alternative flight arrangements, but they aren’t compelled to do so. If you are calm, courteous, and polite this may help you to get rebooked, but be prepared that you may incur some fees.

You may also be denied boarding due to the airline’s operational needs.  Sometimes this occurs when a different aircraft is used with a lower carrying capacity, meaning that there are fewer seats available. In this scenario, it’s the same as overbooking as mentioned above, and as a result, you could be owed up to £520 per passenger in compensation.

To find out your eligibility simply provide us with a few details, and we’ll check for you.

Start Your Claim Now

Latest Articles

Missed connection compensation
Compensation for strikes
Denied boarding and overbooking compensation