EPISODE 33 ~ SAVE MORE: Canceled Flights: App Gets You Compensation When Your Flight Doesn’t Go Right

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Did you know that when your flight is canceled or delayed, the airline may owe you money?  Problem is, you may not know when you’re leaving money on the table and it’s a hassle to do the claims paperwork.  Enter an app that will keep track, send in claims and get you your money!  It’s called “Service” and what a service it is!  My guest is Michael Schneider, Founder and CEO of Service.  

How did you get the idea for the Service App?

While on an airplane, I sat next to another man who signed up for Wifi. The man’s laptop died as well as his outlet and he spent hours complaining to the WIFI company and American Airlines. I thought that it was a bad use of the man’s time and that maybe I could figure out a way to help people with issues like these.  From that experience, I developed Service.

Explain why an airline might owe somebody money for a delayed or canceled flight.

In the United States airlines are only required by law to provide compensation in the event you are involuntarily denied boarding – this is an extremely rare occurrence. While airlines aren’t required by law to provide compensation in the event of a delayed or cancelled flight, they often do provide “good will” compensation in the form of a travel voucher or miles. Airlines care about their customers and this is how they show it.

OK, so no money for you if it was a weather delay or sometihng like that?

In general, airlines don’t compensate for weather or ATC-related disruptions. Having said that, our system still picks up and files all disruptions over 90 minutes as we don’t currently have a way of determining the reason for a disruption. Depending on your frequent flyer status, an airline may still give compensation even if the reason for the disruption was outside of their control.

What percentage of people file claims with the airlines when they are owed money?  In other words, Is the need real? 

only 9% of leisure travelers bother to complain to airlines, according to ACSI.  That means 91% of travelers are leaving money on the table – whether it’s in the form of vouchers, miles or cold hard cash.

How does Service find out that your flight was delayed or canceled?

Service is built to work to get you compensation for flight disruptions without taking your time. The way we do this is by sync’ing with your inbox, both to automatically find past flight disruptions and to know what flights you’re taking in the future.  Service files claims to get you compensation (usually vouchers or miles) in the event your flight is delayed or cancelled.

And when people sign up, you also scan for past flights they may be owed money on, right?

When you first sync your inbox, we look at your last 12 months of travel, and find any flight delays over 90 minutes or cancellations. We then add up how much compensation we think we can get you from the airline(s) and you can file the claim(s) with one tap.

And what about future travel?  Do you have a solution for that too?

For future travel, once you enable AutoProtect, we will file a claim with the airline anytime you’re delayed or cancelled – you don’t have to lift a finger!

How does Service get paid for its service?

We charge 30% of the value of what we get for you to your credit card on file. If we can’t recover, you don’t pay!

What if you get miles or vouchers for somebody?  How does Service get paid for that?

Yes – nearly all the compensation we get for our users is “non-cash”. For example, if we get you a $100 voucher we will charge you $30. If we get you 10,000 miles, we will charge 30% of the cash value of the miles.

And how does a Service user get his or her money or compensation?

If it’s cash, we submit banking details to the airline and the bank wires the cash directly to your bank.  If it’s a voucher, we send you a link or a PIN to access it.  Or frequent flyer miles get deposited right in your account.

Michael Schneider, Founder and CEO of Service, thanks so much for joining me on Easy Money!

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