If you’re a regular traveller, then the chances are that you’ve experienced frustrating flight cancellations, and the occasional long wait at an airport due to delays. However, what many travellers don’t know, is that your airline could owe you compensation for the inconvenience and disruption. That’s where ClaimCompass comes in.
Since its inception in 2015, ClaimCompass has helped thousands of airline passengers claim the compensation they were entitled to after suffering flight delays and cancellations. Over 50,000 eligible claims have been dealt with so far this year alone. And ClaimCompass is on a mission - to reach every traveller who has a disrupted flight and help them find out if they’re entitled to compensation.
We talk to two of the ClaimCompass founders, Tatyana and Alex, about how they're making navigating the airline industry’s opaque compensation rules easier - and fairer - for everyone.
Tatyana and Alex met back in 2013, and the idea of making it easier for passengers to get the flight compensation they’re entitled to, came about in 2015. Tatyana had studied European law, and Alex had spent time working for an airline - but even they found the process of making a claim against an airline tricky and time-consuming. Tatyana explains, “Back in 2015 I didn’t even know that the European airline compensation laws existed. Airlines don’t really want their customers to know about the rules, and bet on passengers being unaware to save themselves money. That meant that the vast majority - some 95% of people entitled to compensation payouts - did not even try to submit a claim.”
The ClaimCompass team knew from personal experience that their product was needed. When Alex tried submitting a claim for a canceled flight right before starting the company, he knew there needs to be a better way - “When I submitted my claim, I went through all the frustration of completing a bunch of forms, and then having my application and emails ignored, waiting weeks for a reply, and being told the airline would not pay for some technical reason. When our other co-founder Velizar also had his luggage go missing on a flight to California, and had the same experience, we realised we really had to make compensation claims more transparent and user-friendly for airline customers.”
ClaimCompass automates the claiming process to allow disappointed customers to submit compensation claims simply, and be kept in the loop about the claim as it passes through the system. Tatyana and Alex see their job as much about education, as about getting customers the compensation they deserve, “Most passengers just want the whole thing taken care of for them - they’re even frightened to contact the airline in case it draws them into a legal battle as they fight for their right to compensation”. It's exactly this lack of consumer awareness, and shadowy legal process that airlines rely on to keep compensation costs down.
Once a compensation claim has been settled, ClaimCompass must get the payment to the customer as quickly and effectively as possible. Alex and Tatyana choose to do this using the TransferWise API. They explain why: “International banking fees are huge - even a small wire transfer from Canada would cost 50 or 60 dollars to process, and took a lot of time and paperwork to arrange. The more money we spend on international transfer costs, the less we are able to pass on to our customers - so we needed a cost effective, and simple solution”.
ClaimCompass have integrated with the TransferWise API to make payments to their customers, and as a growing international company working across many different countries and currencies, they rely on a TransferWise multi-currency Borderless account for business day to day use, too. While the API makes it very simple to get compensation payments into the customer’s bank accounts, the Borderless account is a handy tool as it allows the team to hold their balance over any of dozens of different currencies all in the same place. They can then switch between currencies easily when needed, using the best exchange rate available, and for just a small upfront cost. TransferWise also has a very handy Batch payment solution, for when integrating with their API is one step too far. The Batch payment tool will still save you time on your international payroll, for example, and is easy to use.
Tatyana and Alex chose TransferWise thanks to the flexibility and coverage offered, and say it creates far less operational hassle than other payment options. “Using TransferWise means that we only need one person to carry out payouts. We send hundreds of international payments every month, and have saved both time and money by integrating with the TransferWise API.”
“As a company working to promote transparency and fairness, and to help save customers from being ripped off,” adds Tatyana, “ClaimCompass shares similar values to TransferWise. We are proud of our successes since 2015 - and we’ll continue to work to use innovation - machine learning and AI for example - to improve efficiency, and keep on providing great value to our customers.”
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