Flight Got Delayed? This App Helps You Get What You Deserve

Photo: Getty Images.
Being stranded at the airport is a travel purgatory we wouldn't wish on our worst enemies, and yet, every person is bound to be in this situation at some point. Whether you're experiencing severe delays, or had your flight completely canceled, the best course of action is to find out whether you'll be entitled to compensation. You'll probably feel like freaking out to your family over the phone or scowling at the gate agent, but that's unfortunately not going to do you any good.
Pursuing compensation with an airline is a long and arduous process. After the frustration of having this throw a wrench in your travel plans, it's probably the last thing you want to deal with. Being put on hold for hours on end over the phone is to be expected. And even when you get through to a customer service personnel, it may be months before you even see your check in the mail.
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If the procedures sounds really daunting to you, Airhelp is just be what the doctor ordered. The startup acts on your behalf to help coordinate the compensation case with the airlines, helping them receive an average of $450 per successful claim. All you'll need to do is enter your flight details and scan your boarding pass.
To help you figure out if this is the right course of action for you, we've put together a lowdown on the app.
Know If You're Eligible
Airhelp provides assistance with lawful claims for flight delays and cancellations for flights within the last three years. For flight delays on trips to and from EU countries, you may be eligible for a rectification for up to $600. Things are bleaker if you're delayed on U.S. soil: According to Scott Ginsberg, brand manager for Airhelp, airlines are only required to compensate you for delays on the tarmac. At any rate, the app offers a free feature to check your eligibility, so it may be worth downloading on your phone before a trip.
Photo: Courtesy of Airhelp.
How The App Works
There's a legal staff of 60 people at Airhelp specializing in aviation laws in 30 countries. With 300 claims agents in the operations department, they work round the clock on calling the airlines on your behalf, explaining the situation and going through all the data points of what the claim is going to be in your jurisdiction. They're also responsible for keeping the customers in the loop in every step of the way, until the money is transferred to your account.
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Beware Of Vouchers
To get someone to voluntarily give up their seat on an overbooked flight, vouchers are typically offered an incentive. It's enticing to see the prize gets raised again and again, but you should think twice before gleefully taking up on their offer. "Your acceptance can potentially waive your rights to any further compensation," says Ginsberg. "Upon your acceptance, your name may be added to a database preventing you from making a successful claim in the future."
How Much It Costs
The company charges 25% of your compensation for cases that go through successfully. This may seem like a lot, but if you're the type of person that dreads waiting on the phone or wouldn't file a claim at all — this could be a small price to pay to eliminate the headache.
Alternative Apps
You can look into Service as an alternative. The app promises to gets your money back on both past and future foiled flights. As soon as you're a member, it scans your emails to find past delays and automatically files claims on your behalf. You can register for auto-protect to ensure that the startup automatically processes claims for future delays. The app charges 30% of your compensation for the service.
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