Overbooking is a common practice among airlines and provides for the more efficient use of aircraft, for example where passengers have failed to check in for flights for which they have purchased tickets. The Government do not believe that denied boarding is a widespread problem, based on the relatively small number of complaints on this issue received by the Air Transport Users Council. In the event a passenger is denied boarding, Regulation (EC) 261/2004 sets minimum levels of financial compensation, and requires passengers to be offered a choice between re-routing and reimbursement.
It is common practice for airlines' terms and conditions of carriage to include a reference to the possibility of denied boarding and the action they will take to compensate passengers who are inconvenienced in this way. In addition, the website of the Air Transport Users Council includes advice on this issue. The Government do not believe the extent of the problem is such that further action is necessary to highlight this risk to passengers.