Overbooking Flight Compensation: All you need to know thanks to AirHelp

Experiencing the inconvenience of an overbooked flight can be frustrating, but there's a silver lining: you may be entitled to bumped from flight compensation ranging from €250 to €600 in addition to receiving extra services and benefits at the airport. To determine if you qualify for these perks, your eligibility hinges on meeting the criteria outlined in the EU Passenger Rights Regulation. If you meet these conditions, you have a valid claim for overbooked flight compensation in Canada.

First and foremost, we meticulously review your flight information to determine whether you are eligible for compensation due to being bumped from a flight traveling to Canada and from Europe. Our assessment focuses exclusively on instances of involuntary boarding denials, which are the only cases considered for airline overbooking compensation.

It's important to note that if you arrive late for your flight or fail to bring your passport, such circumstances are considered within your control and are not eligible for compensation. In order to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for an overbooked flight or an airline's overbooking error, it is crucial to have experienced an involuntary boarding denial.

The Montreal Convention (MC99) addresses passenger entitlements regarding international flight disruptions outside the EU due to overbooking, using the term "damages." Passengers are eligible to seek compensation for overbooked flights. The specific compensation amount hinges on the circumstances of your case, as the MC99 sets an upper limit.

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Why do Airlines Overbook Flights?

Airlines employ the practice of overbooking for several reasons. Here are some of the reasons why airlines overbook flights:

Overbooking allows airlines to maximize their occupancy by ensuring that as many seats as possible are occupied on each flight.

Operating flights with empty seats can be costly, as airlines still incur expenses such as fuel, crew salaries, and maintenance. Overbooking helps airlines mitigate these costs by increasing the likelihood of full flights, thus potentially also lowering the cost of tickets for passengers.

In cases of overbooking leading to involuntary denied boarding, airlines typically offer passengers compensation, such as bumped from flight compensation in Canada and EU. Passengers are given options to either accept compensation or be rebooked on alternative flights, ensuring flexibility and minimal disruption to their travel plans.

While overbooking can lead to less than optimal situations for Canadian air passengers, it is a common practice across the industry, which leads to travelers being able to receive airline overbooking flight compensation for their troubles.

What to Do When Your Flight Has Been Overbooked?

Do not volunteer to give up your seat in exchange for vouchers or perks.
If you do, you could be giving up your right to any additional denied boarding compensation. Of course, if the airline makes a compelling enough offer, you may prefer to take it. The final decision is up to you.

Hold onto your boarding pass and any other travel documents.
If you don’t have your boarding pass, you can use any flight document with a booking reference number. This number is assigned to your flight reservation by the airline and is a six-digit code, which may include both letters and numbers.

Ask why you’re being denied boarding.
One of the most common denied boarding reasons is being “bumped” due to an overbooked flight, but there are other reasons you may be denied boarding, as well. This information is important down the line if you decide to file a claim and be entitled for an overbooked flight compensation.

Request an alternate flight to your destination.
Or, if you prefer, you can request a denied boarding refund of your fare and a return flight to your original point of departure, if necessary.

Request compensation for your boarding denial.
Provided you’re eligible, the airline should pay you immediately once you’ve been denied boarding for your flight. That’s in addition to offering you the re-routing or refund mentioned above.

Ask the airline to cover your meals and refreshments.
If you are forced to wait at the airport longer than planned, the airline is supposed to provide food and drinks to keep you comfortable. It’s not just good hospitality, in some cases it’s a requirement.

Get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.
If you’re being grounded overnight while waiting for an alternate flight to your destination, the airline should cover any reasonable costs for accommodations as well as transportation to and from the airport, if necessary.

Keep your receipts if your boarding denial ends up costing you extra money.
Whether it’s missing out on a pre-paid reservation, hotel, rental car, or other unexpected costs, passengers on international flights — even within the EU — may be able to recover expenses caused by travel disruptions.

See if your boarding denial is eligible for compensation.

How Much Compensation Am I Entitled to for Being Bumped From a Flight?

When it comes to overbooked flight compensation in Canada and the EU under EU regulations, the amount you may receive hinges on two key factors:

Travel Distance: The distance of your journey plays a significant role in determining your compensation for being bumped from a flight. Longer flights typically qualify for higher compensation amounts.

Flight Location: Whether your flight is within the European Union (EU) or not also impacts the airline overbooking compensation calculation. Flights within the EU often come with different compensation structures compared to those outside the EU.

To simplify the process and provide clarity, we've prepared a visual chart illustrating the compensation amounts based on these factors, ensuring you can easily understand how much you are eligible to receive for your specific flight details.

Flight distanceCompensation
All flights 1,500 km or less€250
Internal EU flights over 1,500 km€400
Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km€400
Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km€600

Fun fact! Your overbooked flight compensation for Canadian air passengers under EU regulations is not something you have to wait for—it's due to you immediately upon being denied boarding, right there at the airport. This compensation is in addition to your entitlement to be re-routed on an alternate flight to your intended destination.

So, when faced with an overbooked flight situation, rest assured that you have the right to receive your airline overbooking compensation promptly and the option to continue your journey as planned, all while ensuring your rights for being bumped from a flight traveling to Canada and to the EU.

In regard to the overbooking international flight compensation you can claim with MC99, it comes down to a case by case scenario, but the regulations stipulate there is a maximum compensation of US$7,000 for the damages incurred.

However, the interpretation of what ""damages"" encompasses can significantly differ depending on the jurisdiction handling your case.

In many regions, compensation for being bumped from a flight primarily covers monetary losses. This means reimbursement for missed prepaid reservations, additional hotel expenses, or other unforeseen costs due to travel disruptions. To secure compensation, maintaining documentation of the incident and proof of these extra expenses is usually essential. Therefore, safeguard your receipts.

What Information Should I Collect to Support My Claim for Overbooking Compensation?

Your overbooked flight compensation for being bumped from a flight is due immediately, so you ideally wouldn’t have to go through the claim process. However, if you didn’t get paid at the airport, not to worry ⎯ you can still file an EC 261 claim after the fact. You can expect some pushback from the airline however. Even when the law is on your side, they might not be enthusiastic – or particularly quick – about paying you the airline overbooking compensation. To give your claim the best chance of succeeding, here are a few tips to follow:

– Hold onto any documents related to the disrupted flight and any alternative flights offered, such as e-tickets and boarding passes.
– Ask the ground crew for information about what is causing the issue.
– Keep a few notes about the disruption, including the actual arrival time at your final destination. Any information you can collect – like photos of the departures board at the airport or any communications from the airline confirming the disruption⎯will be useful for your claim.

By following these tips, you can increase the likelihood of a successful claim for airline overbooked flight compensation in Canada or EU, even if you initially didn't receive compensation at the airport.

More useful information about air travel disruption

  • Flight Cancellation Compensation

  • Missed Connection Compensation

  • Flight Delay Compensation

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