Up next in our TravelTech series – and because every traveler needs their own personal Robinhood, I asked founder and CEO Tatyana Mitkova to tell us more about ClaimCompas and how they helped tens of thousands of passengers get compensated for delayed or canceled flights.
ClaimCompass in a Nutshell?
ClaimCompass helps you get compensated when the airline screws up your flight. This includes flight disruptions such as long delays, cancellations or overbooking.
Every Great Idea Has a Great Story – and a Tipping Point. What’s Yours?
We’re ordinary travelers who have experienced the hassle of dealing with airlines’ customer service departments. We’re proud to share that in the past two years, we’ve already helped thousands of passengers and have secured millions in compensation.
In 2015, during my internship at a legal firm, I came across EU Regulation 261, which grants airline passengers the right to monetary compensation for delayed (3+ hours), canceled or overbooked flights. I realized that only a handful of German legal offices were exploiting this as a business opportunity. So I asked Velizar Shulev (co-founder & CTO), a former high school classmate of mine who was studying computer science at the University of Glasgow, to build a landing page so that we test the idea.
I then reached out to Alexander Sumin (co-founder & CMO), who was in Montreal, working as an analyst for the Canadian Federal Government, and to Fatma Fevzi (Chief of Claim management) who was actively involved with NGOs and social entrepreneurship projects in Berlin. Alex had coincidentally, just experienced an excessive delay during his last trip.
From these three remote locations, in the summer of 2015, ClaimCompass was launched. We bootstrapped the venture while still working our full-time jobs. But in 2016, after the company was accepted into 500 Startups and received a $200K investment, the team returned to Bulgaria to fully dedicate our efforts on ClaimCompass.
The number of claims handled month on month has gone through the roof. In 2017, we processed over 20.000 compensation claims.
How Many Claims Don’t Get Honored by Airlines?
When it comes to EU Regulation 261/2004, a claim has a binary outcome – the passenger is either entitled to monetary compensation or not. Our internal claim management software verifies a bunch of requirements to validate the claim.
Some of those include the length of the delay, the weather conditions, the applicability of air traffic control restrictions and other circumstances that caused the disruption.
Around 35% of our leads (users who use our web form to check if they’re eligible) don’t have the right to a compensation. Thanks to our experience with thousands of claims and our technology, we notify those customers as soon as possible after claim submission and don’t dedicate resources to process ineligible claims.
As for the remaining 65%, we are glad to share that ClaimCompass success rate has been over 95%. Combining the legal know-how of our experts with our cutting edge technology, our promise is to bring every claim to its full completion. Our goal is making sure that the passenger’s rights have been respected and any owed compensation has been paid.
Is There a Particular Airline that Comes Up Over and Over in the Claims?
ClaimCompass currently serves passengers on 10 different languages, so we process cases from a variety of countries and airports, against all major European airlines.
While all carriers suffer long delays and cancellations, the airlines we have most claims against are also the airlines with the highest number of passengers carried (e.g. Ryanair).
And when it comes to interesting cases from the kitchen, we recently shared a story where we caught an airline lying.
How Do You Compare to Other Similar Businesses?
While there are other companies that provide a similar service all around Europe, one has to differentiate between a website and/or a landing page, which can collect your flight information, and a business handling tens of thousands of claims monthly.
At ClaimCompass, we use machine learning algorithms to automate as much of the process as we can, and we have an API which monitors an enormous amount of information, to identify disrupted flights and proactively notify passengers via our partnership network.
Are You Looking to Add More Features?
For the time being, ClaimCompass specializes in securing compensation for delayed, canceled or overbooked flights. With €8Bn worth of compensation that can be claimed in Europe annually, there’s large potential in exploring this market niche, before introducing new features and services.
What Should We Look Forward To In 2018?
We wrapped-up 2017 with over €5.5M claimed via our platform. That may sound like a big number, but that’s just a fraction of what’s owed annually to passengers. We hope to multiply this number a few times by the end of this year.
A few weeks from now, we’re launching a newly redesigned website that will offer more content and information on flight disruptions, as well as a new feature called Flight Tracker – the simplest way to find money in your inbox.
Flight Tracker sounds like a winner! I look forward to checking it out. Thank you so much, Tatyana! It’s been great talking to you and we wish you all the best and beyond, in getting more of us travelers the justice we deserve.
To wrap up the interview, I do have a couple more questions, these especially for you:
If Your Travel Style had a Theme, What Would It Be?
I would describe my travel style as an explorer – I look for more unique experiences and make sure I have free time to explore rather than feel busy checking items off a bucket list. I’ve become more culturally and culinary curious and like the idea of trying out new activities/sports while on a trip (surfing, scuba diving, hiking).
My most recent trip was to Cuba and Miami. These past few years, I try to visit more countries outside of Europe (where low-cost airlines gave me the chance to travel around quite a bit already). Previous trips brought me to Morocco, Israel, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Your Next Travels?
I don’t have an “ultimate” destination, but in 2018 I would like to spend a week wave surfing somewhere.
Well, we’re sure that wherever you decide to head off to, Tatyana, ClaimCompass will have your back!
I tried out ClaimCompass recently & I can tell you this: those 2 minutes I spent filling in my claim were the easiest 300€ I could win back !
ClaimCompass help passengers get compensated when the airline screws up their flight.
The company combines legal and technical expertise to help passengers entitled to compensation who lack the time and/or know-how to file a claim on their own. With just a few clicks, passengers can submit a claim completely free of charge – if the claim is successful ClaimCompass keeps a 25% commission fee.
Check out ClaimCompass here: www.claimcompass.eu