Overbooked Flight Compensation

If you were bumped off a flight due to overbooking, you may be entitled to compensation up to 600€ under EU Regulation 261/2004

Overbooked Flight Compensation

Overbooking is a situation in which you have bought a flight ticket but are then told that there are no seats available on board the aircraft. This is a situation where it is known by the airline that an air passenger is overbooked. Overbooking, in the language of the aviation industry, is a flight being “oversold” in the sense that there is not a seat for every sold ticket.

Overbooking is one of those things that people simply hate when it comes to air travel. This situation however actually puts the airlines at an advantage as they are able to sell more tickets than they have seats. It is always a loss for the airlines every time a flight takes off with empty seats.

Even the airline does manage to sell all of the seats it is likely that not every passenger will show up for the flight. The main reasons for this are often cancellations or delays on the part of the airlines or due to last minute cancellations or changes in travel plans on the part of the traveller.

What do you need to do in the case of Overbooked Flights?

Airlines started overbooking their flights after realizing that not every passenger would be showing up for their booked flights. In recent times, airlines have become a little more sophisticated in dealing with the entire procedure.

There are a number of variables that go into the decision-making concerning overbooked flights but no matter how sophisticated the airlines get with their predictions, a certain extent of variability will always exist. It is, however, in the case of miscalculations, the public that suffers the consequences.

Understanding your rights

The very first thing you will notice in the event of an overbooked flight is a gate attendant approaching you and asking you to take another flight. The airline might also offer some sort of travel voucher in order to avoid angry customers.

These travel vouchers generally begin at double the cost of your flight ticket and keep on increasing if you do not accept. If you are not in a hurry to take your scheduled flight and the travel voucher you are offered proves to be a good deal, you can accept the travel voucher.

One thing that you must remain aware of however is that every time you buy a flight ticket, you have concluded a contract with the airline which is known as the contract of carriage.

The contract of carriage outlines the legal expectations of the airlines and the passenger in relation to the flights. Typically these contracts contain clauses stating that an overbooked flight, for which not enough passengers are willing to take later flights, could lead to passengers being denied boarding.

In this situation, if the new flight causes the passenger to arrive at their destination more than one hour later than the time of the original flight, the passenger could be owed compensation (based on the terms and conditions of the airline).

European law has priority over the terms and conditions of the airlines and always valid. If your flight was delayed or was cancelled or overbooked and you were denied boarding, Claim Flights can help you with financial compensation in accordance with the EC 261/2004 Regulation.

The amount of compensation to which you are entitled varies depending on the distance of your destination; 250€ for flights of less than 1500 km, 400€ for flights from 1500 km to 3500 km and 600€ for flights of over 3500 km – but only if the flight leaves the borders of the EU.

If you directly accept a travel voucher or compensation from the airline you will probably have to sign a contract which prohibits you from claiming compensation in accordance with Regulation EC 261/2004.

For this reason, it makes sense to know your rights and how much the EC 261/2004 Regulation allows you to claim in the case of an overbooked flight. If the airline offers you more money than the EC 261/2004 would for overbooking your flight, it might be a good idea to accept the airline’s offer.

In the event of an overbooked flight, the amount of compensation laid down by the EC 261/2004 Regulation can be easily claimed by using the commendable service provided by Claim Flights. The entire procedure is simple and hassle-free.

Using the Flight Compensation Calculator

Use our flight delay compensation calculator to find out the amount of compensation to which you are entitled in the case of overbooked flights.

Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova

International Legal Strategist

Petya Petrova-Racheva holds a Master of Law (LLM) degree, and has broad knowledge of European Laws in different countries. She loves travelling and her dog, as well as her family.

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