As a traveler on a tight timeline, there are few things more frustrating than having flights canceled. Last year I was flying with my three young children when our flight was wiped out due to storms, and I wanted to throw a chair through a window. In the United States, it’s pretty difficult to get compensation for your problems. It can be occasionally done, but in cases like these, who really wants to haggle with the airlines?
In the European Union, airline passengers have different rights, and if there is any flight disruption, travelers may be entitled to money. If you live in the EU and had a flight delayed, canceled, or overbooked in the last 3 years, ClaimCompass has a business that revolves around getting you the cash you deserve, without making you fight the flight battle.
Fighting The System With A System
ClaimCompass has developed a “Claim Calculator” that allows people to enter the details of their flights and see if they are entitled to compensation. The calculator tells an individual their chances of receiving money from the airline, based on their particular incident, and then allows them to submit a claim. Depending on the complexity of the issue, the claim may be filed automatically through the ClaimCompass system or manually by a manager.
Once the claim is submitted, ClaimCompass handles all communications with the airline. First, they attempt to settle the matter out of court; if that fails, ClaimCompass lawyers will take legal action.
“In theory, our system will only let you submit a claim if you have 100% chance of success,” says co-founder Alexander Sumin about ClaimCompass’s success rates with challenges. “However, passengers sometimes make mistakes and input incorrect information, so our real average is about 87%. I’m happy to say that we’ve been very successful in settling our cases outside of the courtroom, which results in faster processing times and lower fees.”
If the passenger receives compensation from the airline, ClaimCompass takes a 25% cut.
Scratching A Huge Itch
For Sumin, starting ClaimCompass was addressing a widespread issue for which there was very little support. “There are over 22 million passengers each year, who are entitled to receive up to $680 in compensation for their delayed, canceled or overbooked flights,” explains Sumin. “The reality, however, is that very few people end up receiving it, either because they don’t know, or because airlines have done a pretty good job at making it nearly impossible to claim.”
In other words, ClaimCompass is fixing a huge “Fuck This!” that so many of us have experienced when dealing with airlines. “The people that turn to us have already been disappointed by the airlines,” says Sumin. “It is our job to cut that negative experience short and get them the compensation they deserve. Anything short of that would be a failure for us.”
I really want something like this to come to the United States. Until then though, my only option is to rant and rave about my travel experiences on social media, and to some degree, here. Or I could move to Europe. That’s starting to sound like a pretty good idea.
Stephen Altrogge is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee, Florida. He writes about tech, marketing, faith, and lots of other things. He’s married to Jen and has three young girls. Every day he consumes more coffee than the entire population of Colombia. He knows more about Star Wars than any respectable man should, and he runs more than any sane man would. He once attempted to eat a 2 pound hamburger in under an hour. He failed.
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