An app designed to help travelers get monetary credits for delayed or canceled flights added a powerful new tool this week: a boarding pass scanner that automates the entire process.
The new functionality means that the app, AirHelp, enables passengers to check eligibility for delay or cancellation compensation in real time, without even leaving the airport, boarding gate, or—at least in some cases—the plane itself.
Here’s how it works. Once you download and open the app, the homepage will prompt you to see if your flight is eligible for compensation. To do that, you take a photo of the QR code (that’s the box with all of those dots and lines) on your boarding pass. Within seconds, the app tabulates information from your boarding pass and determines if you are entitled to some sort of compensation for a delay or cancellation.
The feature also allows travelers to add multiple boarding passes at a time.
Once all boarding passes have been scanned, the app asks you if you’d like to file a claim—and if you do, the AirHelp team automatically populates the claim with your information, submits the claim on your behalf, and deploys a lawyer service to do all the legwork.
According to a spokesperson, the service is completely free to use. If you move forward with a claim, AirHelp will take 25 percent of what your final reward is. If you get nothing, you pay nothing.
Based on past experience, it certainly seems like filing a claim through AirHelp can’t hurt. The company boasts that since it was founded in 2013, it has processed more than $195 million in claims—most of them from commercial airlines. The spokesperson added that the company has helped more than 2 million unique passengers worldwide and that the average compensation is around $450—a healthy chunk of change to put toward your next trip.