Denied Boarding: Flights Departing from the EU or EEA

If you are denied boarding on any flight departing from the European Union or the European Economic Area (EU/EEA), the airline must pay you compensation of up to 600 EUR in cash (see exceptions). In addition, the airline must offer you:

  • transportation (rerouting) onward or to your point of origin;
  • full refund of your airfare, if you choose to return to your point of origin; and
  • care (meals, accommodation, ground transportation, and 2 free phone calls or emails).

Applicable law

Your rights are governed by Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council. (You may be entitled to additional compensation under the Montreal Convention, if applicable.)

Amount of Denied Boarding Compensation

The amount of compensation depends on the distance to your final destination and the length of the delay caused by the denied boarding.

  • Final destination within 1500 km:
    • 250 EUR (delay of over 2 hours);
    • 125 EUR (delay of less than 2 hours).
  • Final destination within the EU/EEA of more than 1500 km, or outside the EU/EEA in a range of 1500-3500 km:
    • 400 EUR (delay of over 3 hours);
    • 200 EUR (delay of less than 3 hours).
  • Final destination outside the EU/EEA and in distance greater than 3500 km:
    • 600 EUR (delay of over 4 hours);
    • 300 EUR (delay of less than 4 hours).

Denied boarding compensation must be paid immediately, at the airport where the incident takes place.

Form of Payment

  • The airline must pay denied boarding compensation in cash or equivalent (electronic bank transfer, bank orders, or bank cheques).
  • If you agree, in writing, the airline may provide travel vouchers and/or other services in lieu of denied boarding compensation. You can insist on payment in cash or equivalent.

Your options: continue or cancel trip

The airline must offer you the choice between continuing or cancelling your trip.

  • If you choose to continue your travel, the airline must offer you the choice between:
    • transportation to your destination at the earliest opportunity; or
    • transportation to your destination at a later date, subject to availability of seats.
  • If you choose to cancel your trip, the airline must transport you to the first point of departure at the earliest opportunity, and refund your ticket.

Refund (if you choose not to travel)

If you choose to cancel your trip, the airline must refund you, within 7 days:

  • part or parts of the trip not made; and
  • part or parts of the trip already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to your original travel plan.

Right to Care

The airline must also provide you, free of charge, with:

  • meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time;
  • hotel accommodation, where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary;
  • transportation between the airport and the place of accommodation; and
  • two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or emails.

Exceptions

  • You are not entitled to any compensation, rerouting, or care if:
    • you fail to present yourself for check-in and boarding before the cut-off times specified by the airline; or
    • you do not have appropriate travel documents; or
    • you act in a manner that creates a threat to the safety of the flight.
  • You are not entitled to the standard amount of denied boarding compensation if you volunteer to give up your seat.