International law accepted by the European Union and regulated by EC Regulation N 261/2004 allows airlines to sell more seats than they have available. Sometimes this means that some passengers remain on land. It is what is known as an overbooking or denied boarding.
If you suffered an overbooking on your scheduled flight, you have the right to claim. However, there is small print. Compensation in this case will depend on whether the overbooking is considered voluntary or non-voluntary, the latter being the easier way to ensure compensation.
Difference between voluntary and non-voluntary overbooking
- Overbooking Volunteer: You can not claim the European compensation but you can claim the refund of the ticket, the alternative transport and the conditions agreed upon with the airline.
- Non-Volunteer overbooking: You can claim the reimbursement of the ticket, the alternative transport, hotel if necessary and the European compensation of the EC regulation N 261/2004.