Denied Boarding Compensation
Compensation for Denied Boarding
If you have been denied a reserved seat on Aer Lingus, you are probably entitled to monetary compensation. This notice explains Aer Lingus's obligation and the guest's rights in the case of an oversold flight, in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Volunteers and Boarding Priorities
If a flight is oversold (more guests hold confirmed reservations than there are seats available), no one may be denied boarding against his or her will until airline personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservation willingly, in exchange for compensation of the airline's choosing. If there are not enough volunteers, other guests may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with the boarding priority of Aer Lingus as follows: There are certain groups that are subject to pre-acceptances to avoid involuntary denied boarding. These groups are:
- Gold Circle Members
- Guests who are Qualified Individuals with Disabilities will be the last to be involuntarily denied boarding if it is determined by Aer Lingus that such denial would constitute a hardship.
- Hardship cases as determined by the Station Manager or their representative.
- Positioning Crew Members
- The priority of all other guests will be determined in the order in which they present themselves for check-in in accordance with Aer Lingus rules.
Compensation for Involuntary Denied Boarding
If you are denied boarding involuntarily, you are entitled to a payment of "denied boarding compensation" from the airline unless:
- you have not fully complied with the airline's ticketing, check-in, and reconfirmation requirements, or you are not acceptable for transportation under the airline's usual rules and practices, or
- you are denied boarding because the flight is canceled; or
- you are denied boarding because a smaller capacity aircraft was substituted for safety or operational reasons; or
- on a flight operated with an aircraft having 60 or fewer seats, you are denied boarding due to safety-related weight/balance restrictions that limit payload; or
- you are offered accommodations in a section of the aircraft other than specified in your ticket, at no extra charge, (a guest seated in a section for which a lower fare is charged must be given an appropriate refund); or
- the airline is able to place you on another flight or flights that are planned to reach your next stopover or final destination within one hour of the planned arrival time of your original flight.
Amount of Denied Boarding Compensation (International Transportation)
Guests traveling from the United States to a foreign point who are denied boarding involuntarily from an oversold flight originating at a U.S. airport are entitled to:
- No compensation if the carrier offers alternate transportation that is planned to arrive at the guest's destination or first stopover not later than one hour after the planned arrival time of the guest's original flight;
- 200% of the fare to the guest's destination or first stopover, with a maximum of $675, if the carrier offers alternate transportation that is planned to arrive at the guest's destination or first stopover more than one hour but less than four hours after the planned arrival time of the guest's original flight; and
- 400% of the fare to the guest's destination or first stopover, with a maximum of $1,350, if the carrier does not offer alternate transportation that is planned to arrive at the airport of the guest's destination or first stopover less than four hours after the planned arrival time of the guest's original flight.
0 to 1 hour arrival delay - No compensation.
1 to 4 hour arrival delay - 200% of one-way fare (but no more than $675).
Over 4 hours arrival delay - 400% of one-way fare (but no more than $1,350).
"Alternate transportation" is air transportation with a confirmed reservation at no additional charge (by any scheduled airline licensed by U.S. Department of Transportation), or other transportation accepted and used by the guest in the case of denied boarding.
Method of Payment
Except as provided below, the airline must give each guest who qualifies for involuntary denied boarding compensation a payment by cash or check for the amount specified above, on the day and at the place the involuntary denied boarding occurs. If the airline arranges alternate transportation for the guest's convenience that departs before the payment can be made, the payment shall be sent to the guest within 24 hours. The carrier may offer free or discounted transportation in place of the cash payment. In that event, the carrier must disclose all material restrictions on the use of the free or discounted transportation before the guest decides whether to accept the transportation in lieu of a cash or check payment. The guest may insist on the cash/check payment or refuse all compensation and bring private legal action.
Acceptance of the compensation may relieve Aer Lingus from any further liability to the guest caused by its failure to honor the confirmed reservation. However, the guest may decline the payment and seek to recover damages in a court of law or in some other manner.