2 August 2023

Overbooking Flight Compensation

Overbooking Flight Compensation

Overbooking, or selling a number of tickets greater than the number of available seats, is a common practice in many airlines in Spain. However, not everything always goes according to plan, and then some passengers may find themselves denied boarding. What to do in that situation? Know your rights and find out how to apply for compensation.

Reasons for Denial of Boarding in Spain

Overbooking aims to maximize the use of seats on the plane, taking into account the situation when some passengers do not show up at the airport. Nevertheless, if all passengers arrive on time, there may not be enough seats for some of them. In such a case, according to Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004 of the European Parliament and Council of February 11, 2004, they are entitled to compensation.

Compensation for Denial of Boarding in Spain

The passenger who has been denied boarding due to overbooking in Spain has the right to compensation. Its amount depends on the length of the planned flight and is as follows:

€250 for flights up to 1500 km,
€400 for flights within the EU with a distance of 1500 km and other flights with a distance from 1500 km to 3500 km,
€600 for flights with a distance over 3500 km.
Passengers also have the right to a refund of the ticket or to use an alternative connection.

Conditions to Receive Compensation in Spain

In Spain, to apply for compensation, one of the flight's points, either departure or landing, must be in the territory of the European Union, and the flight must be operated by a carrier registered in the EU. In addition, the refusal must result from the airline's decision, not the passenger's. In Spain, passengers have one year from the date of the disrupted flight to apply for compensation.

Care of the Airline in Spain

In the case of denial of boarding due to overbooking in Spain, the airline is obliged to provide adequate care to the passenger, including free meals and drinks, accommodation, or the possibility to make two calls or send emails. All additional costs incurred by the passenger as a result of the denial of boarding, such as accommodation in a hotel or transportation, must be reimbursed by the carrier.

Worth Knowing in Spain

In the situation where the passenger does not arrive on time for check-in, does not have the proper travel documents, or the denial of boarding is justified, for example, by health reasons, airlines in Spain do not have to pay compensation. Additionally, if the airline offers the passenger an alternative in the form of vouchers or another flight, and the passenger agrees, they have no right to compensation.

How to File a Claim in Spain?

The process of applying for compensation in Spain can be tedious and time-consuming. It is necessary to gather the proper documentation, prepare letters and applications, and also become familiar with the laws. Then, you must contact the airline, the relevant bodies, and, in some cases, file a lawsuit in the courts. Flight claim specialists in Spain are ready to assist you, and if needed, take the case to court. An important aspect is that the filing of the claim is entirely free, and fees are only charged in the event of winning the case.