Have a cancelled or delayed flight while traveling through Europe? The good news is that air passengers in Europe are covered by an EU regulation that mandates compensation from the airline for passengers whose flights are delayed or cancelled.
The problem is that securing this compensation often feels like more trouble than it’s worth. And that’s where refund.me comes in.
Refund.me is a global air-passenger-rights service provider. Its white-label solution analyzes cardholder data for airline ticket transactions, extracts itinerary data, and then automatically notifies passengers when a flight has been delayed, cancelled, or overbooked. Refund.me lets passengers know if they are eligible for compensation and then helps process and secure the funds from the airline.
And this week, refund.me announced that it had acquired fellow alum, Travel Notes, a company that built an app that extracts itinerary information from credit and debit cards to avoid denials when traveling abroad. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Travel Notes was founded by Hudson Chilton, currently the chief business development officer for refund.me, and debuted its technology at FinovateFall 2015.
- Founded in 2012
- Headquartered in Palo Alto, California
- Received refund.me claims from customers in more than 140 countries, using more than 350 airlines, in more than 450 airports
- Eve Buechner is CEO
- Average compensation time of 100 days
Talking about the technology during his Finovate demonstration, Chilton explained that the goal is to help banks improve their cardholders’ travel experiences. By integrating refund.me’s solution into their credit and debit cards, banks can “turn an inconvenient, stressful situation into a moment of joy” by putting the bank in the role of “the hero.”
Pictured: Refund.me Chief Business Development Officer Hudson Chilton demonstrated his platform’s Flight Compensation service at FinovateEurope 2016 in London.
“You’re able to become the hero because there are laws in the European Union that require the airlines to pay you compensation if your flights are delayed, cancelled, or overbooked,” Chilton said. “There is between $5 and $10 billion in unclaimed funds every year that should be going back into your cardholders’ wallets.”
At FinovateEurope 2016, Chilton demonstrated two of the company’s products: a white-label European Union Flight Compensation offering and a Refund.me Retroactive program. The latter reviews historic flight data going back three years for potentially delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flights for which cardholders may be eligible for compensation. Refund.me Retroactive also provides banks with data such as the overall amount of compensation available to their cardholders and the routes and names of airports with the most frequent delays.
We spoke with Chilton briefly on rehearsal day at FinovateEurope, then followed up a few weeks later with a few questions by e-mail.
Finovate: What problem does refund.me solve?
Hudson Chilton: refund.me helps financial institutions strengthen the features and benefits of their cards by putting money back in the pockets of cardholders who have been impacted by a delayed, canceled, or overbooked airline flight. Whenever a cardholder purchases an airline ticket with their financial institution’s card, refund.me helps them secure compensation from their airline for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight.
Finovate: Who are your primary customers?
Chilton: Our customer base includes large financial institutions in the United States, along with travel management companies, large corporations, and individual customers from 145 countries across five continents, filing claims against more than 350 airlines.
Finovate: How does your technology solve the problem better?
Chilton: Our white-label solution for financial institutions helps banks truly differentiate their credit/debit card offering to their cardholders. A partnership with refund.me gives your cardholders a reason to purchase their airline flights on your card, not the other cards in their wallet. When they book their flights using your financial institution’s card, they will have peace-of-mind knowing they can quickly and easily secure compensation from their airline for a delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight.
Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?
Chilton: Providing our refund.me compensation-solution to financial institutions is a natural progression from our prior experience in both the financial industry and travel industry. refund.me was established in 2012 and has been helping clients from 145 countries across five continents, filing claims against more than 350 airlines. In 2014, the Financial Times praised refund.me as a “legal industry pioneer” in its Innovative Lawyers Report.
Check out the video from refund.me’s FinovateEurope 2016 demo.