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Denied boarding compensation in Emirates Airline

Since many people are sending me e-mails and asking me about confusing denied boarding procedure in Emirates Airline I will try to clarify things here.

Denied boarding in Emirates Airline is different than in Europe or USA. In UAE they don’t have to pay you a compensation if you don’t get a seat on the booked flight.

The whole procedure is called “The freedom to choose” (and there is even a brochure with the same name that you get from your EK agent), while there is nothing to choose, actually.

This is what happens in economy class denied boarding counters:

If the flight is “overbooked” (it means that EK sold more tickets than there are seats in the plane) you will be asked to volunteer to take the next available flight. Now, there is a discrepancy between what the brochure says and what the company actually does. Brochure says that if you agree to be a volunteer you are eligible for 100 AED duty free voucher (higher value for higher classes). If you get the seat on the booked flight after the flight closure time, you will get a boarding pass and an opportunity to spend the duty free voucher air-side or on board. If your boarding is denied at the flight closure time (there is no seat for you), besides the duty free voucher, you get a free ticket (same as your booked one) and, under certain conditions, a free hotel room, transport to the hotel and a telephone call.

If you don’t want to volunteer, staff will try to find you a seat on your booked flight, since non-volunteers have higher priority than volunteers to get the seat.

In reality, volunteers often get nothing for their volunteering, except the free ticket (and a hotel/transport/call), which already belongs to them anyway (by the law). It turns out that it is better not to volunteer during the denied boarding procedure since non-volunteers have more chances to get the seat on the booked flight and in the case they don’t get it, the compensation is the same like for those who volunteered.

I guess you have to ask for the brochure and read it carefully if you are denied boarding in EK.

Hope this helps.

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18 responses to “Denied boarding compensation in Emirates Airline

  • Sergio Alen

    I’ve been denied boarding before, with staff travel ticket, and I was given a free ticket plus a new booking for the next day’s flight, so, ended up with two tickets plus an upgraded 5 star hotel room with meal allowance for the entire day, all that with a staff travel ticket. So not sure if they made a mistake with me or your info is wrong.

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    • admindragana

      Can you provide a full information, please? Was that an ID90, ID50 or annual leave ticket?

      Being a staff you should know that staff doesn’t have the right to choose, they’re immediately put “on hold” in overbooked flights. This article is for passengers and it’s about the concept of “volunteering”.

      You can get a free ticket compensation if denied boarding only with annual leave ticket. Now, since you are travelling from the hub to home, company doesn’t provide a hotel for you since you have where to sleep, being a staff.

      So not sure are you a staff or you’re just ill-informed.

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      • Sergio Alen

        yes it was on annual leave transiting on GRU, as far as i know they do the same for full fare tickets.

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        • admindragana

          If you were denied boarding on your transiting point, you will get a free tkt and a hotel. This is what my article is saying as well.

          Article doesn’t discuss the compensation, but the concept of volunteering and getting the duty free voucher for that and whether is it better to volunteer or not for the next flight.

          So, I am glad that you got your free ticket and a hotel room, but this is what belongs to you by the Law and it is completely irrelevant for the issues which this article discusses.

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  • Sergio Alen

    i work for a major australian airline now and they do the exact same thing, as a matter of fact most airlines do the same.
    they look for volunteers if they can’t find anyone they choose from the lowest fare type. So there;s no big news in this article.

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    • admindragana

      All the major airliners give money compensation for denied boarding or/and free ticket (that is a real freedom to choose; when you have just one option, you are not choosing – in Dubai you have to take a free ticket even if you don’t need it. The only thing you can choose in DXB is whether you want to volunteer for the next flight, but when you do that be aware that you have the same compensation and rights like those who are not volunteering and additionally – in-volunteers have the higher priority to get the seat on the booked flight. It doesn’t sound fair, does it?).

      This was an article which gives an explanation of the whole denied boarding procedure in EK and it explains rights of volunteers.

      That’s all there is in there.

      Like

  • Ali

    I am a frequent traveler with Emirates and always hoping flight is overbooked and looking to volunteer as I get an additional FREE ticket to same destination or pay difference to another destination.

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  • Rahul

    I had a bad experience with overbooking on an Emirates flight. We are from New Zealand and wanted to go to India via Dubai.
    After seeing the sights of Dubai it was time to leave. We arrived at the airport a bit too early and were told to wait approx 2hr for the Check-in counter for our flight to open.
    So we did. We were the first people at the counter when it opened but were then told the flight was overbooked.
    We were told that we should have done an online check-in (apparently that’s what everyone else did and is the reason why there weren’t any seats). So our reservations did actually reserve our seats.
    We were then asked to take the next possible flight which was In approx 8 hrs.
    In most other airlines some sort of compensation is given depending on how much our arrival time at our destination was delayed.
    In our case absolutely nothing (at first). We ended up having to argue and fight for an hour with the person at the counter and then their manager for our compensation.
    After a lot of, what seemed in hindsight as, begging eventually they agreed to give us access to the airport private dining and sleeping area (I think it’s for business class and first class passengers) until our flight arrived.
    They also ended up forking over a single ticket (we were a family of 3) from Dubai to India (which expires in a year and we live in NZ).
    I didn’t expect this sort of terrible customer service from one of the worlds biggest and well known airlines company.
    Very disappointed and will make sure never to travel with them ever again.

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    • Anonymous

      Expect anything from airlines now days. Dont trust their ads. Its a dirty, filthy business inside this airline…Expect anything!

      Like

    • Anonymous

      By the way you are Indian, so this cheap airline will treat you like a third class unwanted passenger, as they treat most asians who work inside this company. So if you were treated like this! remember they do it to all indians and asians. You are not white skinned, then why should you get a premium treatment. All indians ( Asians) are treated like this inside Emirates

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve got Dubai Sydney return ticket for the compensation of the overbooked flight, and I am living Sydney. on the ticket it’s printed return ticket from:Dubai , To: Sydney. can I use this ticket to travel from Sydney to Dubai and return to Sydney or my flight should departure from Dubai first?

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  • Anonymous

    The most f…up airline in the world. Watch your pockets. This overbooking is a trap to grab your money.They are bunch of asshole racists.

    Like

  • Sarath kumar s

    Namasathe. Actually i want to know about what happens in flyemirates.my brother was booked a air ticket from dubai to india.and the time when he is in the dubai airport.he get informed that there the flight seats are full.and he cant get that flight.where at the time i didnt know that incident and i am also travelled to indian airport to pick him.at the time whem i am at the airport he called me and say it.and he also said that they offer a kind of complimentary pass that include one year up and down tickets.
    Is that the rules or a decent manner to behave a passenger.what the shit is happened.i want to know about this.
    And also want to get compensation money is any possibilities.

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    • Anonymous

      Hi Sarath, When you have a booking in the airline system and the airline says overbooking then you must get compensate ticket. Becuase overbooking is not your problem it is the airline system. Since you are flying from Dubai the compensate ticket will be DXB /sector. You can use with in 1 year not sure you can change the sector. But for sure no money will be provided.
      And each airline has different compensate not all the airline provide a free ticket. Keep in mind. And even not all the airline compensate. Unless if you are big shoot. It is not the staff it is in higher level management.

      Like

  • Anonymous

    Remember you must have a booking in the airline system. That’s it. Just stick to it and ask for the compensation. No matter what ever airline but again as not all the airline will compensate. And not all the airline give free tickets. But you need to negotiate.

    Like

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