Innovation That Matters

Miss Refund: helping travellers reclaim taxes on flights not taken

Work & Lifestyle

While most affordable air tickets are non-refundable, consumers are entitled to reclaim the tax and (fuel) charges on an air ticket that they didn’t use. Authorities charge airlines based on the number of passengers who fly, not the numbers that book tickets. Unfortunately, airlines don’t make it easy for consumers to claim the refunds they’re lawfully entitled to. The beauty of free enterprise? If something is difficult, a smart entrepreneur will surely jump in to ease the pain. For a fee, of course. And that’s exactly what newly-launched Miss Refund does: claim taxes and charges on flights passengers didn’t take, in return for a flat rate of EUR 25. Customers fill in their personal and flight details on the company’s website, and Miss Refund contacts the airline to claim airport taxes and other refundable surcharges. Since refunds are paid directly to the customer (usually refunded to the credit card that was used when booking), Miss Refund requires an advance deposit of its EUR 25 fee. If the claim is unsuccessful, the deposit is returned. Miss Refund, which is based in the Netherlands, was created by Iwan van Geelen, the founder of an equally useful life hack for travellers: Check Me In, a service that takes care of online check-ins on behalf of airline passengers. Miss Refund received nearly 300 reclaim requests in the few weeks since it launched, and the amounts claimed vary from EUR 80 to EUR 600. The speediest refund was processed by the airline in question in just two days, and others are still in transit. The service reminds us of EUclaim, which claims compensation for flight delays on behalf of stranded travellers. It’s all about convenience! One to bring to other countries or industries? (Related: Property tax advocates.) Spotted by: RK



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