Last year, the college where I teach at sponsored a trip to a prestigious academic conference abroad. I was so psyched, I began preparing months in advance. I had brushed-up on all the topics (I had a twelve-book reading list) that were going to be discussed during the conference. Being a bit of an EDC (“every day carry”) nut, I also prepared for just about any contingency I could encounter at the airport and during my flight. I wasn’t just ready; I was ready. Come at me, life! I got this.
You’re probably thinking, given the title of this post, that I got stuck at the airport on the way to the conference. Well, not exactly. My departure went by without a hitch, and I had a great time at the conference. The trip home, on the other hand, was where my nightmare started.
Due to a freak storm, my flight was delayed overnight. The country I was in didn’t require delayed flights to provide hotel accommodations, so I had to spend the night on a cold airport floor. And it gets worse: I had classes to teach a day after my original scheduled arrival. Since my flight was delayed, I lost a day’s worth of classes… and yes, a day’s worth of pay. I’m not some rich, jet-set traveler; I needed that pay. Losing a day’s pay put a big dent in my budget.
One of my co-teachers, a seasoned traveler, later mentioned that there are companies that help process reimbursements for money lost due to delayed flights. That’s info that would have been useful yesterday, but I’ve kept those sites bookmarked ever since! If ever my flight gets delayed, I know there are companies that got my back.
If you’re a frequent traveler, keep these websites in mind. They might make a big difference if you ever face the unfortunate situation!
AirHelp is a big name in the flight reimbursement industry. They’ve handled over 7 million satisfied customers, and have over five years experience processing claims and reimbursements.
The company has a team of legal experts who file claims in your behalf. And you don’t need to pay any money upfront - when the airline settles, they get to keep 25% of the claim as their fee. According to AirHelp, you may be entitled to 200% of a one-way fare if their airline arrives 1 to 2 hours late, and a whopping 400% if it’s over 2 hours late!
How AirHelp Works:
1. Submit your complete flight details to the site, and the site will do a quick flight check to determine whether you are owed any money by the airline.
2. AirHelp will then manage your claim. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and let AirHelp do all the hard work.
3. Get paid! AirHelp will provide regular updates during the entire process.
If you’re a European, AirRefund has you covered. The company handles flights to and from European airports, and on European airlines.
Some of the common problems they tackle include flight delays (over three hours), cancellations (less than 14 days before the scheduled departure) or delayed boarding (usually as a result of overbooking).
They have a strict “no win, no fee - no small print” rule, which is good for travelers. They only get paid when you get paid. Payment is a 30% commission (including VAT) of your compensation amount.
How AirRefund Works:
1. Complete the query form. It’s important to provide all the info they’re asking for as accurately as possible. Doing so will help them determine whether you’re entitled to any sort of compensation.
2. Send the form, along with all the relevant documents.
3. Sit back and wait while the company negotiates directly with the airline company. This is really helpful, because it means you won’t have to go through arduous legal procedures - AirRefund handles all of that.
4. Get paid! If all goes well, you should receive your money.
Here’s another company you can try filing compensation with. Refund.me takes all the hassle of dealing with airlines directly. And believe me, dealing with airlines can be a big hassle. If it weren’t I would have already been compensated during that trip I wrote about.
Refund.me has a dedicated team of legal experts at its disposal. The stats about the site are also impressive: it operates in over 150 countries, has filed cases against over 350 airlines, maintains an average resolution time of 100 days, and - most importantly - has a 98% success rate. Pretty encouraging!
How refund.me Works:
1. Check if you’re eligible for compensation. There are certain retroactive timespans. For example, in the UK you can make a claim after up to 6 years. In Germany, that is 3 years.
2. If you’re eligible, submit all the documents and complete all the required forms.
3. Refund.me will do all the heavy lifting - and that includes taking the airline to court, if necessary.
4. Get paid! Refund.me’s fee is 25% of the final compensation amount, plus VAT.
RefundMyTicket is one of the easier and more convenient sites to use. Right on the site, you will know whether you’re eligible to file a claim - the entire process only takes about 3 minutes.
They help passengers who’ve gotten flights delayed, canceled, or overbooked. Their site is pretty detailed when it comes to various eligibilities. For example, they have a pretty detailed table that shows how much you’re entitled to based on the distance of the flight and the amount of time it was delayed.
How RefundMyTicket Works:
1. Provide your complete flight details to RefundMyTicket. You will receive an opinion based on your claim and the amount of money you can expect to get.
2. Let RefundMyTicket handle the case. They do all the paperwork, make all the necessary calls, and if needed, make the courtroom appearances.
3. Get paid! The company also has a strict “no win, no pay” policy. So you’ve got nothing to lose when working with RefundMyTicket. When you win your case, RefundMyTicket gets an 18% commission from the settlement amount.
So that’s my list of companies that can process refunds after a delayed flight. I don’t look forward to another delayed flight, but if it happens I know there are companies I can rely on to make things right. Now it’s your turn to share! Have you tried processing refunds through these or any other companies?
Let’s hear your stories!