Discover Benelux, Issue 37, January 2017

Page 40

Discover Benelux  |  Business  |  Successful Belgian Start-Ups

Passengers made happy with compensation TEXT: THESSA LAGEMAN  |  PHOTOS: HAPPY FLIGHTS

Did you know that when your flight is cancelled, or you have a delay, you may be eligible for compensation? As the legislation is not easy to interpret, Happy Flights can assist you with your claim. “Our mission is to turn your disappointment following a flight problem into a smile, because travelling is... fun!” No more than ten per cent of Europeans know about the possibility of claiming compensation in cases of cancelled flights or major delays, according to a survey by the European Commission. Besides, there are few passengers who have tried to make a claim that have suc40  |  Issue 37  |  January 2017

ceeded in getting it. With this in mind, Bram Van Nieuwerburgh, who worked in the aviation sector, and IT professional Steven Willems decided to create an online platform that can easily show whether you can get compensation and immediately claim it. Having founded Happy Flights in Belgium in 2014, it is now a steadily growing start-up consisting of a small team of travel experts, software engineers and claim handlers. The company handles all claims that meet the conditions of the European Union Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, explains pilot in command Peter Van Hende. “This

means flights by any passenger within or from the EU with any airline or to the EU with a European airline.” A claim for financial compensation can be made in four cases, he continues. It might be possible when a flight has been cancelled or if there was at least a three-hour delay at the final destination. When you have been denied boarding for reasons that are not related to the passenger, for example because of an overbooking or when a downgrade took place, you can also make a claim.

Travel insurance Quite often something goes wrong because there are so many flights, explains