How to get paid for your next flight delay: AirHelp
AirHelp helps Canadians get compensated for delays
Stop me if you’ve heard this one:
You’re at the airport, ready to fly to the destination of your dreams, when your name comes over the loudspeaker. Your flight was oversold or delayed or cancelled, and your seat is on the wrong side of the good news line. You’ll be re-booked but your plans of hitting the beach/your bed/work this afternoon are shot.
What are your options?
Rail against the airline on social media? Fume in your seat at the airport? Find the nearest meditation lounge?
Yes. But it turns out there are other options too.
You, my friend, could get paid.
Paid for Delays | AirHelp
In April AirHelp came to Canada and reached out to enlighten me on the compensation opportunities for Canadian travellers. The European based technology company has been helping travellers around the world find out if they are eligible for reimbursement under European law EC261, which promises exactly that.
The EC261 law offers reimbursement to passengers on interrupted flights in and out of Europe – regardless of where the passenger resides. That means that Canadians (and Americans) who’ve had their flights to/from Europe delayed or cancelled could be in for compensation up to about $900 CDN per seat!
According to AirHelp, in 2017 alone, more than 70,000 passengers departing or returning to Canada from Europe faced flight mishaps. These interruptions were valued at more than $65 million in compensation that airlines owed to passengers – and yet, most passengers don’t know they’re eligible.
AirHelp | How to get Money for your Flight Delay
AirHelp developed an app to make it simple. You download the app and have two options:
Either have it scan up to three years of your inbox for flight details or simply scan your boarding pass using the in-app scanner. Within minutes you’ll know if any of your flights qualify for reimbursement.
The app has already helped more than 5 million people (globally) receive compensation.
AirHelp | How much is this going to cost?
You don’t have to use AirHelp to apply for your EC261 compensation. But as someone who is still sitting on boarding passes from years ago that I swore I’d follow up on to add my airline loyalty numbers to, I’m realistic enough to know that I’d likely never do all the research and check all the fine print to apply for the compensation on my own.
While there is no cost to use the app, AirHelp does take a fee of 25% out of any award you receive. Which in my case would be 25% of something I wouldn’t have had without them.
AirHelp | What to do during your delay
While knowing there could be a cheque on its way to you is sure to be a day brightener, you still have to figure out how to make the most of your time while you’re stuck. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Always have a well-packed carry-on
Things I can guarantee during a stuck-in-the-plane-on-the-tarmac-for-hours delay: The flight attendant with the bar cart will run out of all the things you want to eat, two rows before the cart gets to you. Don’t leave that kind of power in their hands. Always have snacks packed, as well as a bottle of water (picked up or filled up post -security) with you on the flight.
Take care of your own entertainment needs too: Think headphones, downloaded movies or books and something that will keep your kids entertained and oblivious to the delays as long as possible.
Also: Dress in layers. It’s going to be too hot, then too cold, then too hot again. If you’ve got layers you can flow through the temperature changes with grace, while sipping on your water and catching up on episodes of Bob’s Burgers without missing a beat.
Don’t give away your right to future compensation
Your flight is cancelled and suddenly the gate attendants are handing out $10 vouchers as compensation. The lineup immediately resembles your favourite theme park. But wait…is that what you want? Your ticket to fly is like a contract and accepting one of those vouchers could rule out a bigger compensation down the line. Make sure you’re reading the fine print on anything you’re signing. And hold on to your boarding pass; it will be valuable proof down the road.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by AirHelp. As always, all opinions are my own.