Denied Boarding (EU): Step by Step Guide

Document when you arrived at the airport

  • If you travelled by public transportation, keep your ticket.
  • If you travelled by taxi, keep the receipt and the credit card stub.
  • If a friend dropped you off, ask them to note down the time when you entered the airport.
  • If you made any purchases at the airport, keep the receipts.

Gather and keep all documents relating to your travel

  • Keep your original and revised booking confirmation slips, printouts, and emails.
  • Photograph all your boarding passes (original and revised).

Record audio and video

  • Record announcements about your flight, including calls for volunteers.
  • Record any interaction with airline agents who deny you boarding.

Document when you arrived at the destination

  • Take a note of the time when your last flight landed, arrived at the gate, and its door was opened.
  • Take a screenshot of a reliable website confirming when your last flight arrived at the gate.
  • Complete the fillable EU Complaint Form form below.
  • Send the completed and signed form to the airline.

If the airline disputes your claim

  • Use the evidence gathered in Step 1 to prove the facts.
  • Use our FAQ to establish the law.

Deadline for commencing legal action

  • If the airline refuses or ignores your claim, then you need to enforce your rights by commencing a legal action within a specific amount of time of your flight, called the “limitation period.”
  • The limitation period depends on where and before which court you are suing:
    • In Canadian provincial courts, the limitation period is 2 years or more.
    • In the Canadian Federal Court, the limitation with respect to cause of action that occurred outside of Canadian provinces is 6 years.
    • In the EU, the limitation period varies from state to state. In member states, the limitation period is 2 years or more (with the exception of Belgium, where it is 1 year).
  • If you miss this deadline, you lose your rights to compensation.

Where and how to commence legal action

  • In the EU, you may sue in a number of venues, including:
    • the state where the incident occurred; and
    • the state where the airline has its principal place of business.
  • In Canada, you may also sue in a number of venues, including:
    • the province where you purchased the ticket;
    • the province where the final destination of the ticket is located;
    • the province where the airline has its principal place of business; and
    • the Federal Court.
  • You should file a claim in the place and forum that is most convenient for you. The required forms and the court procedures may vary from province to province.