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TAP Flight Downgrade Compensation

TAP flight downgrade compensation in the EU.

Do you qualify? What compensation can you expect? What regulations exist?

Imagine you’ve purchased a first-class ticket, but then… at the airport you find out that you’ll be flying in business class or economy instead? Or perhaps you’ve booked a business class ticket and then get moved to economy? There are clear rules about such situations. And, yes, you can receive compensation from TAP. This is applicable to all TAP flights to and from Europe.

Compensation must be provided immediately.

1. TAP Downgrade Compensation

Air passenger rights in the EU are tightly controlled.

If you’ve been downgraded, you are entitled to flight downgrade compensation. The amount you can receive for an involuntary downgrade varies from 30 to 75% of the ticket price, depending on the flight distance. This won’t impact your TAP baggage allowance. After all, it’s not your fault.

This applies to all TAP flights from and to Europe.

For non-EU airlines, it applies only to flights departing from Europe.

This is made possible by Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

By Europe and EU here on this page (and on this website in general) we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

2. How to Claim TAP Flight Downgrade Compensation?

Compensation for flight downgrades should be paid on the spot.

Thus, under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t need to do anything.

If this hasn’t happened, it’s crucial to get in touch with TAP and register a compensation claim. If you don’t take action, TAP won’t either. Remember, this compensation should be deposited directly into your bank account. You’re not required to accept any coupons or vouchers. If you encounter any issues, refer to Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

Euro banknotes

3. How Much Can You Claim for a Flight Downgrade?

The EU regulates the compensation amounts.

Here is how you can calculate your TAP downgrade compensation:

  • 30%, for flights up to 1,500 kilometres,
  • 50%, for flights between 1,500 – 3,500 kilometres,
  • 75%, for flights exceeding 3,500 kilometres.

These percentages are based on the price you paid for your flight.

4. What About Free Upgrades?

Let’s say there’s no more room in economy, and you’re given a seat in the business class. That’s fine, but keep in mind that the airline is not allowed to charge any extra for this upgrade.

We can call it an involuntary TAP upgrade.

EU and Non-EU Airlines

How does this look if you’re flying with Emirates or Singapore Airlines, rather than KLM? In these scenarios, these regulations are only valid for flights departing from Europe.

For European airlines, these guidelines are applicable to all commercial flights both to and from Europe. If you’re flying with a non-EU airline, like Emirates or Singapore Airlines, these regulations only apply to their flights departing from Europe, not the other way around.

For all other instances, you would need to depend on the local laws of the country you are flying from and airline policies regarding downgrading.

First Class vs. Business Class

Airline travel differentiates between First Class and Business Class in terms of pricing and the array of services provided. Nonetheless, the level of service in both classes greatly outweighs that in Economy class.

First Class

First Class typically signifies the utmost comfort level that an airline can provide.

The perks usually encompass a reclining seat, gourmet meals, an extensive range of drinks, and tailor-made service. You also get access to exclusive airport lounges and priority boarding. Some airlines go a step further by offering private suites for first-class passengers, underscoring the emphasis on privacy and luxury.

Business Class

Though Business Class is an upgrade from Economy, it doesn’t quite reach the opulence of First Class. The seats are spacious and more comfortable than those in Economy, but may not always transform into a fully flat bed. The meals remain high-quality, and there’s a solid selection of beverages.

Business Class travelers also get lounge access at the airport and are among the first to board. However, the degree of privacy and personal attention may not match that in First Class.

Frequently Asked Questions

EU – Non-EU Flights, Tourists

I’m flying to the EU from a country outside the EU. Can I get compensation?

If you’re flying with TAP then yes, you can.

You are protected as a passenger on all TAP Air flights. Even on those which depart from a country outside the EU.

All thanks to EU Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004.

I’m flying from the EU to a country outside the EU. Can I get compensation?

Are you flying with TAP?

Then yes, you can. You are protected as a passenger on all TAP Air flights. Even on those which depart from the EU and arrive in a country outside the EU.

I am not a EU citizen. Can I get compensation?


Your nationality doesn’t matter. The EU Regulation 261/2004 protects all passengers — tourists from overseas and Europeans alike. 

What is your experience with TAP downgrades? Have you ever experienced that? Have you ever been downgraded on a TAP flight from Business to Economy?