I have flown hundreds of times and had huge delays and canceled flights a lot. Other than Air India putting me in a terrible hotel one night, I have never been compensated by an airline with cash or vouchers. I suppose it’s really my own fault for not asking in some cases – but in other cases, I have asked and I’ve been told they can’t help me. The truth is, in many cases not only can they help but they should be able to compensate you in some way. Enter: Service, the company that helps you get compensated for airline mistakes, delayed and canceled flights. On average, this company gets their clients $600 per year back.
How Service Works: Get Compensated for Airline Mistakes with Service (getservice.com)
The best thing about this is you don’t have to do anything. The number one reason Ben and I never go after airlines for cash or vouchers is that after a delayed or canceled flight that causes a domino effect on subsequent flights in that journey, we are exhausted and angry. The last thing we want to do is call up the airline and fight with them. Airlines are notorious for making you basically beg for something that is your right already. But what if someone else could do it for you? Better yet, what if someone else did it for all your past flights that were delayed and canceled?
That is what Service’s software does. Once you sign up, they comb your inbox for old flights that might be in their system for compensation and they keep up to date with new flights you are taking. Just sync your email and Service will find all the flights you’ve been on within the last year that were delayed past 90 minutes canceled. Plus, with their “Auto-Protect” feature enabled you can monitor all future flights and file claims automatically whenever you’re disrupted.They know what is legal and what’s not – and they know when you are meant to get compensated so you don’t even have to know or worry about it when you encounter a delay. Keep in mind, at this time it’s only available for people with Gmail and Hotmail email accounts.
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Service has a simple three-step program:
- Sign up: They detect flight itineraries in your inbox (just metadata, they don’t actually read your emails, don’t worry)
- They do magic: Their software will find delayed past 90 minutes and canceled flights and Service will directly negotiate with the airline on your behalf. Airlines must be hatin’ on Service just about as much as travelers love them!
- Get compensated: They take 30% of what the airline gives you. That means they are going to push the airline for the highest possible amount – likely higher than you would get yourself not knowing all the rules, and definitely higher than I would get since I’ve never even asked (like the Today Show mentioned when they talked about Service on-air).
Joking aside, the airlines don’t actually hate Service. In fact, because they end up giving back to the customers who deserve it, they get to keep those customers who might have jumped ship to another airline on their next journey. Their average recovery for a single flight compensation is $124 for American Airlines, $76 for Delta, and $101 for United Airlines. Getting that money back keeps some customer loyalty instead of just ending up with a bad taste in your mouth about the airline. Compensation is usually in the form of vouchers or miles, not in cash – I don’t think airlines ever give straight cash unless they have to give a full refund on a flight.
If you have “AutoProtect” turned on, you never even need to do anything or submit a claim, that means they will just search your inbox and they’ll know if there was a flight you were on that could get compensation. It’s pretty cool!
Do you have some weird secret stuff in your inbox you don’t want Service to see? Don’t worry you can keep your sercets. This is how they scope out your inbox: “We look for flight confirmation emails from airlines and OTAs (online travel agencies such as Expedia, Priceline, etc). We only look for meta data (certain senders and subject lines) first, and if we find a matching email we then pull down the body of the email so we can process it. We also look for replies from airlines related to claims you’ve filed with us, and we pull them into our system. We do not read any other email or do anything else with your inbox.”
What exactly will get you compensation?
Legally, airlines never have to offer you compensation on delayed and canceled flights, according to Service – but, according to Service they often do on “good will” to show they care about their customers. It’s a nice a way of them saying “sorry things didn’t go as planned”. Funny that when I’ve tried for this, the airline counter has literally shooed me away, haha! But, that’s the great thing about Service; they have connections already with the airlines, they do this all day every day, and like clockwork, they know how to negotiate what is fair.
So knowing that it’s based on good will, here’s what the airlines will consider compensating you for:
- If there is a flight delay over 90 minutes
- If there is a canceled flight
- If you have a frequent flier status there is more likelihood of being reimbursed.
- Any delay or cancellation that was preventable and within the airline’s control, for example, your flight crew was late or there was a preventable maintenance issue.
If the flight is coming from Europe or operated by an EU carrier, it must be delayed at least 2 hours, instead of 90 minutes. But, you can sometimes get cash instead of vouchers for these! You can read more about these exact details in this article as the EU has different rules (or don’t read it because Service already did and has your best interest covered).
What about the weather? Airlines are not required to give compensation due to weather disruptions and usually won’t offer goodwill compensation, but sometimes they pull through so Service puts in these claims, too. It doesn’t hurt to try!
Service is FREE.
Say what!? I know. You think nothing is free anymore, but this actually is. If they search for flights in your inbox and find nothing, then you pay nothing and they get nothing. It’s really that simple. If they do find something they will take 30% which I’m going to explain further down.
Take a minute to sign up now before you forget since you’ve got nothing to lose. Sign up with this link. Please email me or comment on this post and tell me if they find any deals for you!
Caveats on compensation
Let’s talk about how they take their 30% since usually you get compensated with vouchers from the airline. If you are paid in a voucher from the airline, you will get 100% of that voucher amount. They will charge you 30% of the voucher amount to your card on file. For example, if you get a $100 voucher, you keep that for your $100 off your next flight and Service charges your card $30. If you are compensated for miles, they will take 30% of the cash value of the miles, again to your card on file. You can sync all of that when you sign up. If you don’t have a frequent flier account, you can set those up with the airlines every time you book a new flight and read this article to learn more about the value of miles.
If the airline offers compensation, you can’t decline it – it’s all automatic so it’ll just go through. If it’s not the amount you were hoping for, it can’t be undone. It takes 2-4 weeks to get results on a claim, although the EU can take longer. They mention on their site that you don’t need to follow up with them about it; they are totally on top of things. Of course, they would be as they are going to get 30%. That’s why I like these profit-sharing scenarios because you know they will work hard for you since there is something in it for them.
Once you sign up, you can get your friends to sign-up and receive referral credit of $20 off your next claim. So, let’s say you were compensated a $100 voucher and Service is meant to take $30 of that (charged to your card), if you refer someone, they will use that $20 credit and take only $10. The referral link is on your settings page.
I signed up with my Gmail account and watched as immediately their software started searching…
It pops up saying it’s starting to search. After some time it found my upcoming flights to Mexico, which was cool to see that it worked and synced. Now only time will tell how many flights they can save me money on! I’ll be sure to come back and update this and let you know when they save me money – but in the meantime, it’s free to use so I lose nothing by signing up. That’s a win-win in my book!
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