When you're traveling, there are few things worse than having your flight delayed or canceled. Rarely is there anything you can do but sit back and succumb to the airline's mercy of when you will reach your final destination.
Just this past week, thousands of Delta Airlines passengers had their travel plans altered by a power outage at Delta's hub in Atlanta, which took down Delta's primary scheduling systems. This caused the airline to implement a ground stop on Monday morning, ultimately canceling thousands of flights over the course of the week.
It can be extremely difficult to know your rights or what you are entitled to when an airline delays or cancels your flights for non-weather-related issues. The airlines do this on purpose, and it's estimated that only 0.1% of eligible passengers get the compensation they are owed from the airlines by filing claims. AirHelp wants to change this and help passengers claim the $3 billion that airlines owe them each year that ends up going unclaimed.
What is AirHelp?
Very similar to the Paribus service I wrote about in March, AirHelp is a service that helps airline passengers receive the compensation that’s owed to them after a disrupted flight (including cancellations, delays, and overbookings) using complex algorithms and their gigantic database containing every flight on every airline in the world.
All you have to do is file a claim through the service and they will take it from there. Even taking the airline to court if need be. If you win your claim, AirHelp takes a 25% administrative fee for handling the claim off the top of your total compensation owed. If you don’t win your claim, you pay nothing. Essentially AirHelp is betting that passengers are willing to give up 25% of the compensation they are owed because they likely wouldn’t have gotten any compensation without AirHelp.
There are two ways you can use AirHelp to file a claim for compensation which I have outlined below:
- If you’ve recently experienced a flight disruption such as a delay, cancellation, or overbooking, you can file a claim using your flight number. AirHelp will take it from there and stay in communication with you throughout the process.
- If you’ve experienced a flight disruption such as a delay, cancellation, or overbooking in the past three years (or if you think you may have but aren’t sure), you can use AirHelp to scan your inbox for past flight confirmation details. If they find a flight that qualifies, they will let you know! I recently linked my Gmail account to AirHelp and was very impressed how far back it was able to grab flights in a short amount of time. Unfortunately I didn't have any flights that were eligible for compensation. However, all of my upcoming flights are now loaded into my account and should anything go wrong, I can rely on protection from AirHelp.
Does AirHelp have a mobile app?
Yes. You can download their app now to your iPhone, iPad or Android device and check if you’re entitled to compensation while you’re still physically at the airport. This will likely speed up the process of getting you paid.
What email services does AirHelp sync with?
As of writing this article, you are able to sync your Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Outlook email accounts to the service. I personally use Gmail and have had no issues with syncing. In fact, it even found details from flights in which I deleted the emails some time ago.
How Do I Sign Up For AirHelp?
To create an AirHelp account and start recovering the money you are owed from the airlines from cancellations, delays, and overbookings, simply click here or follow the link below. You can even create an account with your credentials from Facebook, Google +, Yahoo, Microsoft or Tripit.
It is great to see new startups causing this kind of disruption in the travel industry. Especially when they have such a positive impact on the average consumer. There is no cost to try the service, and AirHelp only makes money when you are compensated. You have nothing to lose! It will be very interesting to see if they are able to scale and gain traction in the coming years both in the US and abroad.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.