Overbooking Flight Compensation: What To Do If Your Flight Is Overbooked

Overbooked Flight Guide

Flight overbooked? You could be eligible for overbooking flight compensation.

Certain flights and routes will be eligible, while others may not. We’ll check your flight details to see if your overbooking compensation qualifies. To qualify for compensation when your flight is overbooked, you have to have involuntary denial of boarding. That means you have to have been denied boarding due to the flight being too full.

As will most compensation, if you show up late or without your passport, it’s your own fault.

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The Process When A Flight Is Overbooked

When a flight is overbooked, airlines typically follow a common process to handle the situation. Here's what you can usually expect before you receive any overbooking flight compensation.

A little wait at the airport

Airlines often oversell flights because they anticipate that some passengers may not show up. When people check in and arrive, the airline staff start to assign seats. Until that process is complete they can’t be sure how full the flight will actually be. You may have to wait up to an hour for the airline to actually confirm that the flight is overbooked.

Voluntary bumping  

Airlines first ask for volunteers willing to give up their seats. In exchange, volunteers may receive compensation, such as travel vouchers, hotel accommodations, or a seat on a later flight. 

Involuntary bumping 

If there are not enough volunteers, the airline may involuntarily deny boarding to some passengers. Regulations vary by country, but passengers who are involuntarily bumped are often entitled to compensation, which is typically mandated by government regulations.


Passengers who are involuntarily bumped are usually rebooked on the next available flight to their destination. The airline should also provide compensation and assistance as required by law.

Overbooking flight compensation

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled due to overbooking or you were denied boarding, you might be entitled to compensation. Overbooked flight compensation varies from country to country and depends on factors like the length of delay and the cost of the ticket.

First, we check your flight details to see if your overbooking compensation qualifies. Only involuntary boarding denials are covered and are eligible for airline denied boarding compensation. If you show up late, or without your passport, it’s your own fault.

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Your Rights When Your Flight Is Overbooked

Sometimes airlines can be sneaky when it comes to overbooking compensation. They often offer perks to soften the blow, which can mean you give up your right to overbooking flight compensation.

Here’s what you need to do when your flight is 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 and whether it’s due to flight overbooking
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 an overbooked flight

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 rerouting 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 legal requirement.

Get the airline to provide you with a hotel room.If you’re being grounded overnight due to an overbooked flight, 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 prepaid 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.

Can I claim overbooked flight compensation from EasyJet?

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled or there has been a case of overbooking which has meant you can’t board, you might be entitled to compensation. Compensation relies upon the cause being easyJet's responsibility.

See if your boarding denial is eligible for compensation.

How much Overbooked Flight Compensation are you entitled to?

Provided your flight is eligible, the overbooked flight compensation amount is dependent on two factors:

– Travel distance
– Whether your flight is within the EU or not

We love charts, so here’s one that explains how much you’re eligible for based on your flight details:

Flight distanceCompensation
Flights 1,500 km or less£220
Flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km£350
Flights over 3,500 km£520

Fun fact! Your overbooking compensation is due immediately once you are denied boarding. And we mean right there, at the airport. That is in addition to being entitled to re-routing on an alternate flight to your destination.

What information should I collect to claim for overbooked flight compensation?

Your overbooked flight compensation for being denied boarding 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 a claim after the fact. 

Overbooking compensation can be a challenge to get your hands on 

Despite the law being on your side, it’s quite normal to have to wait a while to get your flight compensation due to overbooking.

You can expect some pushback from the airline - they might not be enthusiastic – or particularly quick – about paying you. To give your claim the best chance of succeeding, here are a few tips to follow:

– Hold onto any documents related to the overbooked 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 and try to keep a record of them confessing to flight overbooking.

– 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.

More useful information about air travel disruption and overbooking compensation

Overbooking compensation

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