It is one of the most frustrating parts of flying: Delays, cancellations or getting bumped from the flight altogether.
It happens quite a lot, but most passengers do not pursue a claim with the airline.
Jacob Charbonneau is CEO of Flight Claim, a Montreal-based company hoping to educate passengers on the types of compensation they’re entitled to if they have problems with their flights.
“It’s less than two per cent of the flight delays or cancellations that will pursue a claim to the airline,” Charbonneau said.
The rules of compensation vary depending on where you travel. For flights to and from the European Union, there is compensation for delays over three hours, cancelled and overbooked flights. The compensation ranges, but a delayed flight can return up to 600 euros per passenger.
Now, Charbonneau said he is trying to make the process easier for flyers and expand the business.
Flight Claim allows passengers to file a claim on their website to see if they’re eligible for compensation. If none is applicable, there’s no charge. If Flight Claim is successful in collecting money from an airline, the company claims a fee of 25 per cent.
Claims typically take up to 90 days to process and Flight Claim has a 96 per cent success rate, Charbonneau said.
Charbonneau said 90 per cent of passengers won’t end up using a voucher and cash compensation is better.
“The more people know about the rights, the more and more they will claim and the more costly it will be for the airline. But they will have to be better at the service they offer and that’s the good side of it,” he said.
Flight Claim advises customers to keep supporting documents, like booking confirmations or boarding passes, if you’re thinking of filing a claim.
With files by Stephanie Gordon