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When travelling from the US to an EU country, and involuntarily denied boarding, there are two different entities that could regulate the compensation:

  • The US Department of Transportation has rules based on hours delayed and percentage of the ticket.
  • The EU has rules based on kilometers traveled. In addition, it includes hotel costs and meals.

Which one of these rules would apply?

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    Depends. The EU rules will apply if the operating airline is based in the EU (or EEA). I don't know what the criteria for the US rules to apply are. – Henning Makholm Nov 17 '17 at 23:34
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The rules apply based on the country the incident occurs in, AND the nationality of the airlines.

The US rules apply to all flight FROM the US, AND to all flights operated by a US-based airline (regardless of the departure country)

The EU rules apply to all flights FROM the EU, AND to all flights operated by an EU-based airline (regardless of the departure country)

This means that multiple rules can apply, in which case the higher of the two requirements will apply.

As your flights was from the US, the US rules will apply. If it was operated by an EU-based airline, then the EU rules would also apply. This does not mean that you get the benefits from the two added together, but the higher of both.

Under US rules, the denied boarding compensation would depend on the ticket price paid, but would be up to $1,350. Under EU rules, the denied boarding compensation would be €600 or around US$700.

So if the airline you flew was a non-EU based carrier, then the US rate would apply. If it was an EU-based carrier, whichever was the higher of these two amounts would apply (likely the US rate, but it would depend on the ticket price paid)

  • Where does it say, that in case of a double compensation entitlement, the highest applicable compensation should be paid? As I read the EU regulation, you forfeit your right to compensation when flying from a third country on a community carrier if you have received compensation in the third country. It does not say that you forfeit your rights only if you have received a higher compensation in the third country. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 18 '17 at 18:14

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