Denied Boarding

Passenger Rights

If you depart from an EU airport or arrive in the EU on an airline based in the EU, UK, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, and your air journey is disrupted, you have significant rights and entitlements under EU law, which covers situations where your flight is cancelled/delayed/overbooked or you are denied boarding, are downgradedyou missed a connecting flight or your luggage is lost/ damaged/delayed.

One of the most important pieces of EU air travel rights legislation is Regulation (EC) 261/2004, which established rules for these rights below.

If you have a valid flight reservation and travel documentation, and you are denied boarding by the airline due to overbooking or operational reasons, and you don’t wish give up your seat, you are entitled to:


You should be provided with a seat on another flight that will enable you to reach your original/final travel destination.


Reimbursement will be due for the part(s) of the original journey not completed.


If you choose rerouting, the airline should provide meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation (for a stay of 1+ nights), transport between the airport and the accommodation, and two telephone calls, faxes or emails.


If you are denied boarding the following compensation rules apply in addition to the assistance requirements above:

  • €250 per passenger for flights of 1,500km or less
  • €400 per passenger for intra-Community flights of 1,500 – 3,500km
  • €600 per passenger for all other flights

Note: There are a number of valid reasons why airlines may refuse boarding. These include health, safety or security concerns, inadequate travel documents, late arrival for check-in or boarding.