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American Airlines Denied Boarding Compensation

American Airlines overbooking compensation / denied boarding compensation.

How much is flight overbooking compensation? Rules? How to get it?

When flying with European airlines, you are protected against flight disruptions, including flight overbooking and boarding denial. On some non-European airline flights you are protected under European laws, too. If your AA flight is overbooked, and as a result you are denied boarding, you are entitled to receive care from AA. The airline has to book you on a new flight, and, in some situations, pay EU denied boarding compensation.

There are two ways you can claim this compensation.

1. American Airlines Overbooking Compensation: EU Denied Boarding Regulations

Have you been denied boarding by American Airlines? 

What are your rights in case of boarding denial? In which situations are you entitled to compensation? 

In short — if it’s due to overbooking, you have a right to receive care from from American Airlines. In some situations, you might be entitled to compensation as well. It applies to all American Airlines flights departing from Europe, and to all passengers on these flights.

If you’re flying with American Airlines, and you are denied boarding due to overbooking — you might be entitled to flight overbooking compensation (EU denied boarding compensation) up to €600. 

This only applies to overbookings.

You won’t be entitled to compensation if you are denied boarding due to issues with your travel documents or visa, or if you voluntarily give up your seat.

Read more: Regulation (EC) No 261/2004Regulation UK261

By Europe and EU here on this page (and on this website in general) we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

1.1 Voluntary Denied Boarding

What is voluntary denied boarding?

As the name suggests, this is when you voluntarily agree to give up your seat. 

How does it work? Your flight is overbooked. The airline has sold more tickets than there are seats. But too many passengers have arrived, and there are not enough space on the plane. 

So the airline has to deny boarding to some of its passengers. But first, it will look for volunteers who agree to give up their seats and travel later. If a passenger gives up their seat and travels later, it’s called voluntary boarding denial.

If your flight is overbooked, you may be asked to give up your seat in exchange for a new flight (for free) and instant compensation. If you are offered compensation like this and you accept it, you are denied boarding voluntarily. 

In this case, you aren’t entitled to American Airlines denied boarding compensation.

You don’t have to agree to an offer like this.

1.2 Involuntary Denied Boarding

There are situations when you don’t have a choice.

There are not enough volunteers. So the airline has to deny boarding to some of its passengers. Even if they don’t agree to this. This is called involuntarily denied boarding.

In case of involuntary denied boarding, you have a right to American Airlines denied boarding compensation.

What happens in case of involuntary denied boarding?

  • The airline must provide you with a new flight or give you a full refund;
  • In addition to that, you are entitled to receive care from the airline*;
  • You are entitled to compensation up to €600 per passenger. 

With American Airlines all of this apply to flights departing from Europe.

* American Airlines must offer you free meals and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time, two free phone calls, e-mails or faxes. If you have to wait overnight, American Airlines must provide you with free accommodation and free transfer from and to the airport.

1.3 Right to Care

All passengers travelling with American Airlines have a right to care.

If you are travelling from Europe, and you have to wait at the airport 3+ hours due to flight delay, cancellation or overbooking, you have a right to care from American Airlines.

What does it mean for you as a passenger?

American Airlines must offer you free meals and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time, two free phone calls, e-mails or faxes. If the replacement flight departs only on the next day, and you aren’t in your home city, the airline has to offer you a free hotel stay and free airport transfer. Agreeing to these free services doesn’t affect your chances of getting compensation.

Contact the airline if you haven’t been offered anything.

Entering hotel room
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

2. How to Claim American Airlines Flight Compensation? How to Claim Flight Overbooking Compensation?

You can claim American Airlines denied boarding compensation yourself.

The other option is to work with professionals.

Claiming compensation from American Airlines yourself. Use the contact form on American Airlines’s website to request flight overbooking compensation. Refer to European flight compensation regulations. Make sure you mention your rights in accordance to European law. 

Keep in mind that it might take a while until you receive flight overbooking compensation. Unfortunately, it’s a lengthy process.

You can also take the easiest path — legal representation.

Register your American Airlines compensation claim with experts.

Just fill in the form linked on this website, and our partners will assist you.

When choosing this option, here is all you will have to do:

Go to
this page

Fill in a claim form

Upload documents*

Sign online

And that’s it — the rest is handled by professionals.

* Your boarding pass and passport or ID copy.

Read more: American Airlines Missed Connection Compensation

2.1 How Long Does It Take?

It depends on the airline.

Some airlines respond quicker than others. 

Some airlines, on the other hand, wrongly deny compensation claims, even if compensation is due. If that’s the case, you will need to work with a national enforcement body, or take your case to court. All of it takes time.

If the airline cooperates, you might get your compensation in 2-3 months. If not, it could take a few months. 

Euro banknotes
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

3. How Much Can You Claim?

In the EU and the UK compensation amounts are fixed.

In most situations they range from €250 to €600.

Here is how you can calculate American Airlines overbooking compensation:

When your destination is within the EU/UK:


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1,500 km


If the distance of your flight is between 1,500 – 3,500 km

When your destination is outside the EU/UK:


If the distance of your flight is
up to 1,500 km


If the distance of your flight is between 1,500 – 3,500 km


If the distance of your flight is more than 3,500 km

This is also the amount you should be demanding, if claiming flight overbooking compensation yourself. American Airlinesmay offer you smaller compensation if you don’t ask for the amount you are entitled to. You don’t have to agree to a smaller compensation. 

Compensation amounts are regulated by law, not by the airline.

There’s one exception. When the flight distance is 3500+ kilometres and you reach your destination 3 to 4 hours later than planned, you are entitled only to 50% of the compensation amount (that means €300, not €600).

Read more: How to Claim American Airlines Compensation?

3.1 American Airlines Voucher Code, Discounts or Cash?

According to the law, compensations have to be paid in cash or by bank transfer. 

Not in coupons or discount codes. If American Airlines offers you a voucher instead of compensation, you don’t have to agree to it. Ask for a bank transfer because you are entitled to it. These are the laws in Europe.

Keep in mind that this applies only to American Airlines flights from Europe.

American Airlines Denied Boarding Compensation: FAQ

My flight was cheap. I booked it during sales. Will it affect my compensation claim?


The price of the ticket doesn’t matter. It won’t lower your chances of getting compensation. Nor it will affect compensation amount.

Remember — you are paid for the inconvenience.

What if I don’t have travel insurance? Can I still claim compensation?

You don’t need insurance to receive compensation.

All thanks to the Regulation EC 261/2004 (and Regulation UK261). 

If your flight is 3+ hours late, you might have a right to flight delay compensation from American Airlines. You don’t need to provide any insurance papers. 

Can my child get compensation from American Airlines?

Yes, absolutely.

The passenger’s age doesn’t matter. If you are entitled to compensation, your child/baby will be too. Your child will get the same amount. If it’s a 600 euro compensation, you both will get it — you and your child. If you are travelling with a family, all family members will get compensation. As long as your flight is eligible for compensation.

The same rules apply to infants without a dedicated seat.

Can I claim compensation for someone else (e.g., my friend, relative, or family member)?

Yes, you can.

Even if you weren’t on that flight yourself.

As long as you have a copy of their boarding pass and passport/ID.

Also, they will need to sign a couple of documents. 

How far back can I claim compensation?

It depends on the laws of the country.

In many countries across the globe, especially Europe, you can claim compensation even for old flights. If your flight was 2-3 years ago, you still might be able to make a claim.

What to do if American Airlines is refusing to pay compensation?

The airline is refusing to pay compensation.

How can you proceed? Is it even possible? Yes!

There are two options. The easiest way is to hand over your case to a flight compensation company. They will continue the process on your behalf.

Or, you can contact the national enforcement body of the country your flight was from. There are national enforcement bodies in all the EU Member states.

Problems With Visa or Passport

I was denied boarding due to problems with visa / passport. Am I entitled to compensation in a situation like this?

No, because this isn’t the airline’s fault.

You were denied boarding due to your own fault.

You have to pay attention to entry requirements when you travel.

EU – Non-EU Flights, Tourists

I’m flying to the EU from a country outside the EU. Can I get UK/EU flight delay compensation?

If you’re flying with American Airlines then no, you can’t.

European regulations only cover American Airlines flights departing from European airports.

I’m flying from the EU to a country outside the EU. Can I get UK/EU flight delay compensation?

Yes, you can. 

The same applies to all American Airlines flights from the UK.

I am not a European citizen. Can I get compensation?


Your nationality doesn’t matter. 

If your flight is eligible for compensation, you will get it even if you are not European.

Other Situations

American Airlines provided me with a free hotel stay and a free replacement flight. Can I still get compensation?

Yes, if the flight departed from the EU / UK. 

Because in this case, you are entitled to all three: a new flight, care from the airline, and, if your flight is eligible, to flight compensation.

American Airlines took me to my destination. Can I still get compensation?

You might.

If your flight is eligible, you can get compensation from American Airlines.

As long as the flight was from Europe and it was delayed due to the airline’s fault.

Yes, even if you were provided with a new flight.

What is your experience? Have you ever received American Airlines overbooking compensation? Do you still have questions about American Airlines compensation claim procedures and policies? Ask in the comments.