Denied boarding due to overbooking occurs when passengers who present themselves with a confirmed reservation and valid travel documents are not allowed to board the flight because the number of passengers who checked in and presented themselves at the boarding gate on time exceeds the number of seats available.
Due to operational requirements, commercial reasons, safety or otherwise, it sometimes happens that the number of passengers holding confirmed reservations exceeds the number of seats available, so we refer to flight overbooking.
Denied boarding must be distinguished from denied carriage. Air Transat reserves the right to refuse carriage to passengers for reasons such as safety, failure to follow instructions, late arrival at the counter or boarding gate, or failure to present valid travel documents. The following information does not apply to a refusal of carriage.
In the event of an overbooking on a flight, Air Transat undertakes to limit the inconvenience related to this situation by calling on volunteers to voluntarily give up their reservations.
If there are not enough volunteers, other passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily, in accordance with the boarding priorities of the Carrier.
Air Transat's liability in the event of denied boarding varies according to the reasons for the denial, which can be divided into the following three categories:
- Within Carrier’s control (ex : seat oversale, change of aircraft type for commercial reason, etc.)
- Within Carrier’s control but required for safety purposes (ex : in the event of a mechanical problem not foreseen or not noticed during regular maintenance, any requirement or decision relating to the safety of the flight, etc.)
- Outside of Carrier’s control (ex : medical emergencies, strikes, a government requisition of space, etc.)
If you are denied boarding for reasons within the airline’s control (including those for safety purposes), Air Transat will offer you the following free of charge:
- alternate transportation on its services or on the services of a partner carrier(s)
- food and drink in reasonable quantities
- access to means of communication.
- hotel accommodation and ground transportation if the new flight is on the next day.
- If the new flight does not satisfy your travel needs, a refund of any unused portion of your ticket and, when applicable, transportation to your point of origin as indicated on the ticket, within a reasonable time at no additional cost.
If you are denied boarding for a reason outside of the Carrier's control, Air Transat can only provide you an alternate transportation on its services or on the services of a partner carrier(s).
In all cases, you will be informed of the reason for the denied boarding, the assistance provided, the compensation payable where applicable, and your rights and recourse with Air Transat and the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Am I eligible to compensation for my denied boarding?
In the case of a flight overbooking, the airline will then ask if there are volunteers to forgo boarding the flight. Therefore, you could have volunteered to give up your reservation in exchange for a benefit at the choice of the airline. Written confirmation of the benefit offered will be provided to you before the flight departs. You are not entitled to any other type of compensation.
When the denied boarding is due to reasons within carrier’s control, without being necessary for safety purposes, you are entitled to compensation:
However, you are not entitled to compensation if:
- $900 if the arrival at destination as indicated on the original ticket is delayed by less than six (6) hours;
- $1,800 if the arrival at destination as indicated on the original ticket is delayed by six (6) hours or more, but less than nine (9) hours;
- $2,400 if the arrival at destination as indicated on the original ticket is delayed by nine (9) hours or more.
How will the compensation be paid?
- Air Transat offers you a seat in a section of the aircraft other than that specified in your ticket, at no extra charge.
- Air Transat assigns you a section for which a lower fare applies, you will be provided with a refund of the fare difference.
If you qualify for compensation, Air Transat will pay you by check the amount specified above, as soon as it is operationally feasible, but no later than 48 hours after the time of the denied boarding.
Air Transat may offer you travel credits with no expiry date and of greater monetary value in place of the cash payment. You may, however, insist on the cash payment or refuse all compensation and file private legal action.
Acceptance of the compensation (by endorsing the cheque within 30 days) relieves Air Transat from any further liability to the passenger caused by its failure to honour the confirmed reservation. However, you may decline the payment and seek to recover damages in a court of law or in some other manner.