Denied Boarding (Overbooking)

What is overbooking?

For various reasons, the plane might not be able to operate with all the passengers on board and this would cause overbooking.

We know how inconvenient this type of situation can be, so if it happens to you we'll do all we can to ensure you get to your destination as soon as possible.

First, in accordance with Regulation EC 261/04, we'll ask for volunteers to change the date or time of their flight in exchange for compensation and assistance. If an insufficient number of volunteers comes forward, passengers who are not able to fly shall be entitled to compensation, assistance, and a refund on the ticket or alternative transport.

Your rights in case of overbooking


Our ground staff will offer you the following free of charge:

  • Tickets for meals and beverages.
  • 2 phone calls (or other means of communication, such as email).
  • If you have to wait overnight: accommodation, meals and transport between the airport and your accommodation.


You can request it via our Customer Service Centre, based on flight distance and delay hours reaching your final destination.

Flight length

Compensation according to the delay in reaching your destination

Less than 1500 km If you reach your destination with less than a 2 hour delay: 125 EUR If you reach your destination with more than a 2 hour delay: 250 EUR
Between 1500 and 3500 km If you reach your destination with less than a 3 hour delay: 200 EUR If you reach your destination with more than a 3 hour delay: 400 EUR
More than 3500 km If you reach your destination with less than a 4 hour delay: 300 EUR If you reach your destination with more than a 4 hour delay: 600 EUR

In all cases you can choose either of the following options:

  • Re-routing from the airport to your final destination under comparable transport conditions.
  • A refund within 7 calendar days on the journey or journeys not made, and on the journey or journeys made if the journey no longer serves any purpose. If appropriate, you are also entitled to a return flight to your first point of departure. You can request a refund by calling our Customer Services Centre.

Whenever there is due reason to deny boarding (such as lack of travel documents or not appearing at the times stated by the airline or at least 45 minutes before departure), in accordance with Regulation (EC) 261/04 of the European Parliament, the passenger will not be entitled to compensation or assistance.

Is overbooking legal?

Yes, overbooking is provided for by Regulation (EC) 261/2004. First of all, we would like to clarify that, when there is overbooking, it does not necessarily mean that there are customers who will not be able to fly. If you get to the check-in desk and you find yourself In this situation, follow the instructions that our staff will give you at the airport. They will check to see whether there are any free seats on the plane in the end (that is, whether there are any passengers who have booked a seat but do not turn up in the end). Strange as it may seem, many people book a flight and then don't turn up.

How to avoid overbooking

Vueling always recommends checking in as soon as possible. You'll then be allocated a seat and you'll get your boarding passes, so your seat on the plane will be guaranteed (except in exceptional circumstances).

You have 2 check-in options:

  • Wait for free check-in with random seat allocation to open (between 7 days and 24 hours before the flight, depending on the booking).
  • Add seat selection when you book or at a later time.

If you can't check in online, (e.g. if you are travelling with your pet), go to the check-in desk on the day of your flight in plenty of time to be allocated a seat.


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