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Denied Boarding Flight Compensation Claims - Regulations For Involuntarily Denied Boarding

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If you have been denied boarding your flight through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to flight compensation of up to £520.

When Can I Claim Compensation If I’m Denied Boarding A Flight?

EU261 provides legal rights for passengers to claim compensation if they were denied boarding their originally scheduled flight.

To claim compensation, you must show that you were a responsible passenger and have not given the airline any reason not to allow you to board the plane. Your responsibilities as a passenger include:

  • You checked in for your flight on time, either online or in person at the airport
  • You have the necessary travel documentation, such as a passport, visa (where applicable), and boarding pass, to board the aircraft
  • You were present at the departure gate in adequate time to board the aircraft
  • You were not rude or displayed anti-social behaviour to fellow passengers or airline staff
  • You did not pose any safety or health risk to fellow passengers or airline staff
  • You were not intoxicated.

If you have fulfilled these responsibilities, you have a valid ticket, and there is no justifiable reason for not being allowed to board, you can claim compensation for the inconvenience and the delay to your travel.

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    A History Of Success

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How To Claim Compensation For Denied Boarding

Just add your flight details to our flight delay compensation calculator, and we will be able to start the claim process for you.

What Are The EU Regulations For Denied Boarding A Flight?

Under EUReg 261, the airline has a number of legal responsibilities to passengers who are denied boarding. These include:

  • To explain your rights to you when you are denied boarding
  • To provide an alternative flight to your original destination either on their airline or another airline
  • Compensation of up to £520
  • Care and assistance during your delay
  • To provide a full refund within seven days if you choose not to fly at all.

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"Bott and Co get the job done. Kept informed throughout, answered within 24 hours any fears we felt about the outcome, reassured at all times, especially when I had tried numerous times to challenge the airline company direct and was told no way was I entitled to compensation, whereas Bott and Co came up trumps."

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What Flights Under EU Regulation 261 Are Covered For Denied Boarding Compensation?

Under EUReg 261, the following flights are eligible if you were denied boarding.

  • Your scheduled flight departed from a UK or EU airport on any airline
  • Your scheduled flight was on a UK or EU airline and arrived at a UK or EU airport

Flights Covered By EU261

Departing From Arriving To Can I Claim?
Airport inside UK/ EU Airport inside UK/EU

Yes (Claimable for any airline)

Airport inside UK/ EU Airport outside UK/EU

Yes (Claimable for any airline)

Airport outside UK/EU Airport inside UK/EU

Yes (If on an EU based airline)

Airport outside UK/EU Airport outside UK/EU

No

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Denied Boarding?

The amount of compensation you can claim will depend on the length of your delay and the distance of the flight.

The maximum amount of compensation you can claim if you were denied boarding is £520 per passenger.

Our table below shows how much compensation you could claim if you have been denied boarding.

EU261 Denied Boarding Compensation Amounts in UK Pounds

Flight Distance Less than 3 hours 3 hours or more More than 4 hours Never arrived
All flights 1,500km or
less

£0

£220

£220

£220

Internal EU flights over 1,500km

£0

£350

£350

£350

Non-internal EU flights between 1,500km and 3,500km

£0

£350

£350

£350

Internal EU flights over 3,500km

£0

£260

£520

£520

What Else Should The Airline Provide To Passengers After Denying Boarding?

The airline is legally responsible under EU Reg261 to provide “care and assistance” to passengers in the event they are denied boarding.

Care and assistance include:

  • Free meals and refreshments
  • Two phone calls or emails
  • Free hotel accommodation and transport to and from the hotel

Care and Assistance – Your Rights When Your Flight Is Delayed

Flight Distance Length of Delay
Up to 1,500km

After 2 hours

1,500km-3,500km

After 3 hours

Over 1,500km and between two EU States

After 3 hour

Over 3,500km

After 4 hours

Recent Successful Flight Compensation Claims

Which UK Airlines Can I Claim Compensation From If I’m Denied Boarding?

If eligible, you may be able to claim compensation if you were involuntarily denied boarding by any UK airline, as these airlines are responsible for the laws stated in EU regulation 261. This includes the most popular UK airlines, such as British Airways, easyJet, TUI, Jet2, Wizz Air, and Virgin Atlantic.

Can I Get A Refund From The Airline If I Am Denied Boarding?

Yes, you can choose to accept a full refund rather than an alternative flight. More often than not, this is agreed upon at the gate, and once the refund is made, the airline is no longer responsible for arranging alternative flights or for paying compensation. The airline is legally responsible for paying the refund within seven days of the day of departure.

Can I Claim Compensation For Denied Boarding If I Voluntarily Gave Up My Seat?

No, compensation would not be due if you voluntarily gave up your seat and chose not to fly.

The vast majority of cases of denied boarding are due to airlines overbooking flights, meaning there are more passengers than seats available.

Usually, airlines will make an announcement at the gate that the flight is overbooked and ask if any passengers would like to give up their seats voluntarily. If you voluntarily give up your seat, you are doing so of your own free will and, therefore, will not be entitled to compensation.

Should I Accept Vouchers As Compensation For Denied Boarding?

It is common for airlines to provide incentives such as vouchers or air miles for passengers who have voluntarily given up their seats.

However, if you have been denied boarding involuntarily, we advise you not to accept vouchers from the airline instead of compensation as usually, the vouchers will be of less value than the compensation you may be able to claim, and you may relinquish your legal rights by accepting them.

How Long After My Flight Can I Claim Compensation For Denied Boarding?

You have up to six years following the original departure date to start your claim.

Meet Our Solicitors

Coby Benson

Coby Benson Head Of Flight Compensation Team At Bott and Co

A member of The Law Society and a SRA Registered Solicitor, Coby has been instrumental in establishing flight delay compensation law in the UK, including playing a significant part in the landmark cases of Huzar v Jet2 and Dawson v Thomson at The Supreme Court.

Coby is regularly asked for comment in the national media, regularly featuring in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent as well as appearing on BBC Television, Sky News, ITV and BBC Radio 4 and Radio Five Live.