Saturday, November 21, 2015

Freebird Lets You Rebook Cancelled
Flights—For Free Up until about a year ago, travelers
in the U.S.
had little to no recourse for severely delayed or cancelled
flights.
But if you're willing to pay a small fee—often under $30—there
are now several ways to make sure you're never left stranded in a sad
airport hotel or clamoring over a rebooking counter.
The latest is Freebird, which offers trip protection for as little as $19
on a one-way flight (round trips start at $34).
Sign up ahead of your flight,
input your travel details, and the rest happens automatically.
Should your
flight get cancelled or delayed for more than four hours, you'll get
prompted to rebook with a few simple taps.
No need to talk to a customer
service agent, input incident details—nothing.
Regardless of the cost or
airline, your replacement flight is fully taken care of by Freebird.
The service is brand-new (as in, it launched today), so the current prices
are being described as an introductory offer.
Even still, Freebird's Founder
and CEO, Ethan Bernstein, says that he doesn't expect prices to go much
higher.
In general, he says, one-way tickets will be insured for $30 or less,
with an anticipated average of $20 per leg.
Prices will fluctuate according to the probability of weather disruptions and
delays on any particular route.
(In other words, their price quote might be a
good gauge for whether you'll need the safety net.) So how does Freebird
differ from its nascent competitors? Berkshire Hathaway's AirCare offers a
similar style of flight insurance, starting at $34 for round trips and
covering everything from delays to lost luggage.
AirHelp, on the other hand,
allows you to file a claim if you feel you deserve compensation for a delay or
cancellation, and then takes up your case with the airlines for reimbursement
of up to $800.
The main difference: both services offer reimbursement after
the fact, while Freebird doesn't require its users to pay out-of-pocket for
their rebookings—no small fact when last-minute replacement flights can cost
anywhere upwards of $1,000.
Freebird offers trip protection for as little as $19 on a
one-way flight (round trips start at $34).
Sign up ahead of your flight, input
your travel details, and the rest happens automatically

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