An unexpected flight delay can bring on some difficulties, including missed connections, or even cancelled business meetings. Delays are never convenient. However, the airline passenger rights require airlines to provide care for their customers when they are faced with a delay, missed connection or even cancellation. The airline passenger rights are protected by law and travelers are entitled to compensation for their inconveniences. Your air rights indicate that you are entitled to refunds and compensations as well as any costs incurred due to the delay/cancellation/missing/overbooking.Of course you can communicate directly with airline but that can be time-consuming.
Recently I came across couple interesting websites and services.
One of the companies is getairhelp.com and refund.me. Companies mission is to provide an online legal service to help air passengers get compensation from airlines when their flight has been cancelled, delayed or overbooked.
Getairhelp.com was founded in 2013 by present CEO Henrik Zillmer and Nicolas Michaelsen. It is originated form EU but in early March 2014, AirHelp launched its service in the United States.
In May 2014, AirHelp was announced as the winner of the 2014 Spark ‘powered by Rackspace’ award at the inaugural Collision Conference in Las Vegas. The company beat over 30 technology startups selected from a total of 500 applicants. AirHelp won a cash prize of $10,000 plus a fund of services. Also in May 2014, AirHelp was named best Danish startup of the year in the Nordic Startup Awards.
Provide some information like reason of claim: flight was delayed, cancelled or overbooked. Flight number and ticket number or booking code. And you just wait for results. According to their website some cases are resolved within couple days (if they have fast response from airline). For some airlines time stretches up to 6 weeks. If the airline rejects your claim for compensation their lawyers will assess your claim and if feasible, send it to the National Enforcement Body or take the airline to court. This can take from six months to more than a year.
According to GetAirHelp you can get:
|0 to 1 hour arrival delay||No compensation|
|1 hour to 2 (domestic) or 4 (international) hours arrival delay||200% of one way fare (but no more than $650).|
|Over 2 (domestic) or 4 (international) hours arrival delay||400% of one way fare (but no more than $1,300).|
But you don’t have to pay any fees. They take 25% administration fee to cover claim expenses. If you are not payed – they are not payed. You can earn up to $1300 for overbooked flight just from getairhelp.com , not including the bonuses at the gate from the airline representative at the gate.
|Denied Boarding Statistics – US travel|
|Denied boarding total||684,000||719,000||746,000||551,000||598,000|
|Percent denied boarding||0.12||0.13||0.11||0.09||0.09|
In the first half of 2013, more than 277,000 passengers (out of 305m) were denied boarding. Of that number, 31,500 cases received less than they were entitled to receive. The actual compensation from the latest published data ranges from $391 to $439 per passenger, despite federal regulations stipulating that 200-400% of the one-way fare for the bumped flight should be paid, depending on the length of the delay.Based on the average cost of a one-way flight and the fact that the majority of time delays (over 70%) will be greater than two hours, we estimate that the average compensation should be $643.60 (not $391-$439) per passenger. In other words, US airlines are paying their involuntarily bumped passengers substantially less than the settlement dictated by official regulations.- via GetAirhelp
The idea is amazing. You get payed for you inconveniences without a penny out of your pocket. All you have to do is to submit a claim (up to 3 years past).
AirHelp charges a only 25% commission (tax is included), while refund.me 25% commission (plus 19% tax). Plus, GetAirHelp process claims for denied boarding in the US, which Refund.me does NOT .
With AirHelp, the limit is 3 years, 2 years with Refund.me.
AirHelp says their average payout is more than $1,050 per claim. Many cases are processed within days, but in some situations it may take months.
GetAirhelp seem to be cheaper, though you do not have to pay anything out of your pocket. Still Refund.me is worth checking as well.
H/T Miles for Trips