Problem: Flight Delays
In 2014, roughy 55,000 people were involuntarily bumped from flights. Twenty percent of U.S. domestic flights never arrive on time and plenty more are cancelled. When this happens, travelers are left scrambling to rebook. There are laws regarding compensation, but many passengers don't know their rights. For delays up to two hours on domestic flights, airlines reimburse double the value of a one way fare, up to $650. For more than two hours, reimbursement is up to four times a one way fare, with a maximum of $1300.
AirHelp is an app that assists travelers who want the money they're owed from airlines. Enter previous flight info into the app, or just connect AirHelp to a Gmail account. The app searches your inbox for flights over the past three years and determines how much can be claimed. AirHelp representatives handle the claims, deal with airline representatives, send relevant documents, and transfer money into your account after taking a 25-percent contingency fee.
If airlines paid the estimated $3 billion in fees they owe passengers each year, ticket prices would only increase $1 per ticket. But for now, it's up to passengers to get their money back. AirHelp has reimbursed 235,000 people over $20 million, says co-founder Nicolas Michaelsen. That leaves a few billion still waiting to be claimed.