Regulation (EC) 261/2004 requires airlines (Article 4.1) to call for "volunteer" passengers who agree to give up their booking in exchange for certain benefits.

Airlines cannot deny boarding to passengers, unless they have not found enough "volunteers".

"Volunteer" passengers are entitled to be rerouted as soon as possible on another flight or to be refunded if the journey has become useless due to the delay.

If you are denied boarding against your will, you are entitled to:

  • information (Article 14), particularly through a written notice that contains the rules on compensation and assistance, as well as the contact details of the national body responsible for compliance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) 261/2004;
  • assistance (Article 8), i.e. the right to choose between re-routing on another flight as soon as possible (or at a later date) or the reimbursement of the ticket (within seven days), when the journey has become useless due to the delay and, where applicable, the right to a return flight as soon as possible;
  • care (Article 9): refreshments, meals, where applicable accommodation and transfers, two free telephone calls (or telex, fax or email), while waiting for a later flight;
  • compensation (Article 7), whose amount varies between 250 and 600 euros, depending on the length of the journey; in the event of a transfer to another flight, these amounts may be halved if the arrival delay does not exceed four hours.

Disputes and Complaints

Denied Boarding

FPS Mobility and Transport 
Denied Boarding Authority 
DG Air Transport 
City Atrium 
Rue du Progrès 56 
B-1210 Brussels

Fax: + 32 2 277 40 73 

Cross-border Disputes and Complaints

European Consumer Centre 
Rue de Hollande 13 
B-1060 Brussels

Tel.: + 32 2 542 33 89 

Last update
21 October 2022