I could have started this post with a lame salesy opening:
How many times has a delay caused you to miss your connecting flight? How many times has your luggage been lost? It’s a real problem on one hand, but who has the energy to deal with it after returning home from your trip?
If you watched me on Periscope recently, you saw I was doing some travel scopes using #AlwaysTravel. This trip was special for me as it was the first one with my wife and little baby girl. She turned 3 months while we traveled the Czech republic.
The trip was a huge success. She was easy to handle and frankly slept throughout large chunks of it. We are not so much sight seeing people and prefer the outdoors, so we even took her along to wonderful day hikes carrying her in a sling.
Before the trip I wanted to check out the local startup scene (Sorry could’t help it…), so I reached out to a few friends and got in touch with the guys from Startup Yard in Prague.
But before telling you about them and how to get your traveling flight compensation, let me tell you about our flight to Prague first.
This is how it all started
We decided to fly with Wizz Air which are a low cost Hungarian company, flying direct from Tel Aviv to Prague. The flight time was 11:50AM , but already in the morning of the flight we got a notice there is a delay of about 40 minutes leaving from Tel Aviv. Not so bad.
We still came early to the airport and on time for boarding, just to discover we had to wait more than one hour and a half at the gate until boarding will start. The REASON: Airplane coming from Prague was late and in addition was found to have technical issues, so, they brought another airplane from Prague which took time to arrive. FINE!
We are finally boarding and sitting in our seats, after waiting for a while the pilot announces that we missed our time slot for take off and the next time slot they give us is in 2 hours. That was a real BUMMER. Later on he said that they managed to get a better time slot for take off and it will be in one hour.
I don’t want to bore you with all the details, this is the short version of the story, but we were not happy with this delay obviously.
While on the ground I started to google how to get compensation for this delay. They were kind enough to give us some water while on the plane. wow! THANK YOU!
We finally took off at 3:51PM! More than 4 hours delay…
Back to Startup Yard
After arriving to Prague we went to visit the local accelerator (@startupyard), get to know them and what they do. Lloyd Waldo
came to meet us and we chatted for a while, kindly offering to introduce one of their startups in the accelerator.
I got introduced to Jacub from ClaimAir (@ClaimAir). I remember thinking when Lloyd was telling me what ClaimAir are doing: “You are exactly the person I needed to meet, now and I’m going to use your service!”
These guys claim on your behalf your travel compensation! Exactly what we needed!
ClaimAir will take care of the daunting task of getting in touch with the airline and negotiating with them over your compensation. ClaimAir already knows according to regulations what you SHOULD get and have experience with past cases. You can find these regulations online but who has the energy to deal with the airline companies?
Airline companies according to what Jacub says are not telling you what’s the full compensation you are entitled to, and obviously don’t make the process easier for you to claim it.
I challenged Jacub on the spot telling him we’ll do a Pericope broadcast together where I sign up to their service and make a claim, which we did.
On the video you’ll see how easy it is to do.
You’ll see how to find out early what travel compensation you are entitled for
and what the flight companies are not telling you about your rights.
It turned out to be a really cool scope which I learned a lot from.
Update: Katch team who used to host my Pericope video streams closed down on May 4th, 2016. Therefore I don’t have these videos online, but for now only locally.
You can watch it all here:
I’m now at the process of completing my claim. Jacub stated that the fastest they could get compensation was 10 days. ClaimAir commission is 25% of the amount they get for you. For me it will be at least 600 Euros, not bad! This is actually more than what I paid for the tickets.
Update: Our payment was sent around 3 weeks after sending the claim. It came out even better than I thought. We got 1200 Euros! 400 Euros for each passenger. (A baby also counts a passenger though you don’t pay full price for them). After subtracting ClaimAir’s commission it’s a total of 900 euros… We actually covered 2/3 of an 11 day trip. 🙂 . Register with ClaimAir, these guys know what they are doing and can help out.
I had to sign up for a Payoneer account to get the payment, but frankly these guys are very flexible and have a few services they work with to wire payments.
Startup Yard Demo Day
The week after I went to watch Startup Yard Demo day. I managed to watch some of the pitches. A very promising one in my opinion is Salutara, building a platform for trusted medical tourism. I know how much such tourism exists going to/from China. So this one has huge potential.
Here is their pitch:
All in all visiting the Czech republic was great. We got to know the locals by staying at AirBNBs, hiked a lot and saw that traveling with a baby is definitely doable!
The Czech republic has an amazing network of marked trails for hiking and biking all across the country. You can spend weeks in the outdoors, also public transportation is VERY convenient.
3 quick tips if you plan on going to the Czech Republic
- Buy a local SIM card when landing, I bought a Mobile CZ SIM card which costs 200 Kr (around 8 USD) and it was enough for what we needed. It’s not only good for your mobile data and phone calls. It’s also good for paying on local public transportation in some of the cities (In Prague you send a text message to 90206 with ‘DptXX’ where XX is the amount of your ticket price). more on Prague ticketing pricing here.
- If you are an adult with a baby you get a free ticket on local public transport. Big plus(!) which we learned about from our AirBNB hosts!
- Download Mapy.cz app. It has offline maps of all of Europe. We used it when hiking the wonderful trails I just mentioned and it proved to be invaluable.
Now over to you
Which other exciting startup places you’ve seen while traveling? Did you have any experiences traveling with a newborn? Would love if you share your experiences as well in the comments.