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Denied boarding: what are my rights?


If an airline reasonably expects to deny boarding to some passengers on a flight, it must first call for volunteers to surrender their reservations in exchange for benefits under conditions to be agreed between the passenger concerned and the airline company.

If an insufficient number of volunteers come forward to allow the remaining passengers with a reservation to board the flight, the operating air carrier may then deny boarding to passengers against their will.

The EU 261 Regulation sets out general criteria to select passengers who will be boarded preferentially:

  • Premium and full-price passengers
  • Passengers with connecting flights
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Passengers with children or with disabilities

Passengers who are not boarded are entitled to compensation of:

  • € 250 for flights up to 1500 km
  • € 400 for flights over 1500 km and up to 3500 km
  • € 600 for extra-EU flights over 3500 km

Note that compensation can be reduced to 50% if the subsequent flight on which the passenger is boarded arrives at its destination within 2 hours for flights up to 1500 km; within 3 hours for flights up to 3500 km and within 4 hours for extra-EU flights above 3500 km.

Were you denied boarding on a recent flight? Claim your compensation now!

by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder & Director

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