Thursday, March 06, 2014

App To Help Travelers Collect Airline Compensation

Getting compensation from an airline for a delayed, canceled or overbooked flight can range from difficult to impossible as many travelers have found out this bad winter. There are several online companies including Air Help, EU claim and that charge a fee ranging from 15 to 27% (plus, in some cases, handling charges), for helping European travelers file claims under regulations that apply to flights to or from a European Union member state. 

Now, one of those companies is offering its services to U.S. fliers online, and through a free app. Air Help estimates that, under U.S. Department of Transportation's rules, each year a total of $450 million in potential compensation is owed to passengers involuntarily bumped on overbooked U.S. flights and that, under European Union regulations, there are $2.1 billion in potential claims for U.S. air passengers flying to, from or within Europe on EU carriers. Because many travelers don't understand the rules, only a small amount of the compensation owed to passengers gets claimed or paid. That's where Air Help comes in. You give them the details of your flight, and they'll check whether or not you're legally owed any compensation. If you are, you sign a PDF that gives them power of attorney (with regards to dealing with the airline), and they go hunting for the cash. If you end up getting paid, they keep 25% of it. And if you don't you pay nothing. 

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