Flight disruption compensation

EVERY year almost one in five flights across the globe is disrupted — and that’s a key business opportunity for flight disruption compensation company AirHelp, which is leveraging European legislation to ensure customers get their just desserts. AirHelp, which last month went public about a new Australian operation led by Minna Monaghan and Satu Raunola, bases its business model on European Union legislation which mandates payouts of up to 600 in the case of delayed or cancelled flights. AirHelp says the majority of travellers are unaware of their eligibility for compensation under EU Passenger Rights Law regulation EC261– and there may already be an untapped vein of funds available because claims can be made up to three years retrospectively.

Minna Monaghan and Satu Raunola

The law only applies in certain situations, depending on the length of the delay in relation to the flight distance, and only if delays are due to issues within the airline’s control — so disruptions because of weather or air traffic control restrictions are not eligible. All flights departing from European Union companies are captured by the legislation, as well as those arriving in the EU on an EU-based carrier.

As well as a potential bonanza for travellers, the issue is seen as a key opportunity for the travel industry. “Based on our market research, most Australian travel industry players have been unaware of air traveller compensation regulations and entitlements for their customers,” said AirHelp CEO Henrik Zillmer. “We are inviting Australian travel industry partners to inform travellers about air travel compensation entitlements and help them claim back the compensation that is rightfully theirs, while growing their business.”

AirHelp is keen to partner with the industry to help process flight disruption claims, which can currently be based on historical data back to 2015. “The process is quick and easy to set up and does not require any investment,” Zillmer said, with partners earning a commission on successful claims and also providing a value-add service to their customers.