Air Passenger Rights in the USA: When Can You Get a Flight Compensation

We already told you how to claim up to €600 for flights in-and-out of Europe. But when it comes to air passenger rights in the USA, how does it work?

Similarly to the European Economic Community and the EU Regulation 261/2004, the US Department of Transportation has established certain rules for airlines to follow.

Dive in and learn about your passenger rights!

Transparency and honest fares

The displayed price of a ticket should be the final price you pay. In other words, it should include all government taxes, mandatory airline charges, fuel surcharges, and so on. This rule applies not only to airlines, but also to other travel retailers, be it online or offline. Note that the price of the ticket includes taking you from point A to point B.

Add-ons such as Seat selection, excess baggage, extra airport services are normally not included in the price and not subject to the above rule.

Overbooking and denied boarding

Overbooking simply means that the airline has sold more tickets than it has seats on the plane. When you get involuntarily “bumped” off the flight, you are entitled to compensation, unless the airline can get you to your final destination within an hour of the scheduled arrival time. The rate of the compensation depends on the flight and the length of the delay.

If you arrive at your final destination between one and two hours late (on domestic flights) or two to four hours late (on international flights), you are entitled to 200% of the value of the one-way fare to your destination, not exceeding $650. For delays that exceed these times, the airline owes you 400% of the fare, but not exceeding $1,300. In these cases you get to keep your original ticket and can ask for either a full refund, or travel credit, which you can use at a later time.

Delays and cancelations

When your flight is substantially delayed, canceled or rescheduled, you have the right to reroute via a different airport at no cost, regardless of the difference in the fare, or request a full refund.

What constitutes a “substantial” delay or schedule change is up to the airline. The latter is described in a type of policy called “Customer Service Plan”, which outlines what are the airlines’ responsibilities vis-à-vis its passengers in case of a delay, cancelation or a schedule change, as well as a number of other circumstances.

Most airlines will offer a meal voucher for shorter delays, and hotel accommodation for overnight delays, yet the policies and their implementation varies. It is important to note that, unlike for cases of overbooking and flights in-and-out of Europe, US regulations do not require airlines to pay compensation when a flight is delayed or cancelled.

Tarmac delays

A tarmac delay would arise when you have boarded the plane, but haven’t taken off yet, or upon landing and have no access to the terminal. In these cases, the airline cannot keep you on the plane for more than three hours (domestic) or four hours (international) and should allow you to disembark if you wish.

The airline must also offer you food and water after two hours, as well as provide access to the lavatories and an update on the delay every 30min. Again, unfortunately for you, when these rights aren’t respected, you are not entitled to compensation, but the airline would get fined.

Air Passenger Rights: Bottom Line

European and US regulations clearly differ, yet they exist nevertheless. If you believe your rights haven’t been respected on a US flight, we suggest you get a hold of the airline’s customer service. For disrupted European flights, you can calculate your compensation with the help of our Compensation Calculator.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the ClaimCompass newsletter: in addition to travel tips that you won’t find on the blog, you’ll get a free checklist to know if you’re entitled to compensation from your airline!

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Audiophile: Getting The Best Sound Wherever You Go

red and blue discs

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Speakers have been around for a very long time, and this market has been developing steadily since their inception. The products available on the modern market are a far cry from those which people were using in the past, with things like digital music and wireless technology shaping the market into something new. Of course, though, with a market so broad and expensive, a lot of people resort to using the first options they can get their hands on. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring audio, and the simplest ways to improve your listening experience without spending a small fortune.

Personal Listening

Listening to music on your own gives you an excellent opportunity to use devices like headphones. These products offer a better experience and a lower price than speakers, though you have to be careful with what you buy. Modern wireless headphones sacrifice quality to be able to provide you with their advanced features. This makes wired headphones a much better option for those on a budget, and this is before you even consider the difference between in-ear and over-ear headphones. Over-ear examples are often offer better value for money, though a lot of people will want the convenience of something smaller.

At Home

Being able to listen to music at home is a treat, and a lot of people like to do this using speakers instead of headphones. Modern smart speakers are great for those who want a touch of convenience, though you will often find the best sound quality if you go back a few years. eBay is filled to the brim with old hifi equipment, and you only need a set of speakers and an amp or receiver to get yourself started. It’s worth doing some learning before using hardware like this, as it can be quite complicated to set up, but most people would agree that the sound which comes from setups like this is far better value than a lot of modern products.

In The Car

Cars can present some challenges when listening to music. Unlike a square or rectangular room, your vehicle is likely to be an awkward shape for sound to travel around. There are a lot of products on the market which have been designed to combat this, and you can read Alpine car amplifier reviews, along with resources surrounding all of the other parts you’ll need, around the web. Each car will have its own procedure to install speakers, though YouTube should be able to teach you everything you need, and any facia panels you require can be bought on sites like eBay and Amazon.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of getting the best sound wherever you are. It isn’t always easy to listen to music, though most people enjoy this sort of pastime, making it well worth putting the time and effort to ensure that you can get the most out of it.

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Ideas For Learning New Skills Online

Learning new skills is a lot of fun, and it is even more exciting when you can do it at your own pace in your comfortable clothes. The internet has made that a possibility, and it is so diverse you can pretty much learn anything you like for free. It might be something to support your career, or it might be something you just really want to be good at. Either way, here are some ideas for learning new skills online. 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Cooking

If you have always wanted to branch out and cook some great cuisine, then you can hit the internet and find everything you want. From learning how to make dairy-free ice cream, to the ultimate beef wellington. You can check out some recipes on Facebook pages like Tasty, or BOSH for great vegan food. There are some amazing YouTube channels dedicated to food too. Write down a few recipes and hit the internet to start creating. 

Design

Great design is a sight to behold. It looks beautiful and serves a purpose. To learn how to do it to a professional corporate standard might take a few years, but in the meantime, you can use Canva to get used to playing with graphics, layouts, and how to use the space well. If you are interested in developing the skill further, then check out the courses on Udemy and Coursera. You’ll be creating cool stuff in no time at all. 

Computer

Most of us know how to use a computer to some degree. But there is so much more to computer possibilities than just playing a few games or writing emails. Free coding courses have exploded in the last few years, and while they are pretty basic in comparison to what programmers do – they are a lot of fun and will get you started. You might want to check out other skills and IT training too – because you can add these to your CV, they make a great time and money investment. 

Language

Learning a new language is a lot of fun for two reasons – the first is it can help you travel and see more of the world. For example, Spanish is a great option to travel to a lot of Europe and many other countries too. The second is more job-related. You can become a translator, verbal, or written – or you can search for jobs in your new language speaking country. 

Drawing

This one might take more motivation, but the improvement you will see week after week is going to be amazing. We all used to draw a lot when we were little without even thinking about it; as we get older, the time and confidence fade a little. But you can find great free online art courses that can help you explore different styles. Art is great because it adds an element of calm and creativity into our lives – and who doesn’t want more of that? 

Learning online is very convenient and a lot of fun – so what’s stopping you? 

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3 Tips For Your First Year In Business

You are finally up and running and living your long-held dream. You are running your own business, and whilst it feels good, it also feels a little daunting. There is so much to take on, to remember and to juggle and you can see a raft of challenges ahead of you. First thing is first, do not panic. This is all completely normal and you should expect to face a few challenges as you have a lot to learn and there are certain areas worth prioritising. This is why today we want to share with you 3 tips for your first year in business. 

Image Pixabay – Pixabay License 

Learn from your customers

Your customers can help you to shape your entire business, services and products, so you need to do all that you can to learn from them. 

You will probably have carried out some initial market research before you started up to help you to design your business offerings. Do not let that be all that you do, in fact, you need to do so much more of that in your first year.

You should be constantly assessing where your business is coming from and why people are choosing to use you as this will help you to understand how to replicate it and get more leads and customers. You should also be getting customer feedback regularly which will help you to improve your service and products.

Call on the experts when you need them

When you run your own business, you cannot possibly know everything and have the time to do everything, it cannot be done. Which is why we would suggest that you call on the experts when you need them.

Whether you need help setting up your premises or you would like a brand new website and you are not too sure where to start with it, there are plenty of people out there who can help you. Whilst we appreciate that when you are starting up in business your funds might be limited, these can sometimes be worthwhile investments as they can save you so much time and ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

You can even find experts that can really drill down and specialise within your niche, so whether you need SEO for HVAC companies or virtual assistant services for dentists, take a look around and ask for recommendations from others within your industry. 

Get online

Your business’ online presence should be one of the first things that you start to build and this will be an ongoing process throughout your first year and beyond.

Your business will need a well-designed website that really shows off all that you do and encourages people to get in touch with you. 

You should also take some time to set up one or two social media accounts for your business as a way of showcasing your products and services and reaching out to potential customers. This is free to do and can be a very effective way of attracting new customers and spreading the word about your new business.

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Days to Hours: How Has Surgery Gotten Faster In Recent Times

doctor having operation

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Surgery is a relatively new form of science, compared to a lot of the work which goes on in labs. Before the advent of electronics capable of measuring vital signs, chemicals which can render someone unable to feel pain, and widespread information sharing, a huge portion of those going under the knife wouldn’t have come out from the otherside. Even as this field developed, though, many procedures would have taken an extremely long time. This has changed in the modern world, with routine operations often taking mere minutes, and some of the hardest of them only taking a few hours. Of course, though, how exactly has this field managed to get so fast?

Preparation

In the past, a lot of surgeons would have to make an educated guess at where they should start with certain procedures. With x-rays and other types of imaging only giving a broad picture, it was incredibly difficult for people to make an accurate guess as to where an operation should start, and it would take a lot of time to figure out where the problem was. Nowadays, though, a planned operation is far smoother. With the technology to see inside people in great detail, doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals can just about do perform their procedures with their eyes closed.

Non-Invasive Tools

There are a lot of medical procedures which used to involve opening someone up and getting past organs, fat, and other tissues, just to solve something relatively simple. With the way that the human body is built, different parts will often get in the way of what the surgeon needs to access. Companies like Medtronic have been changing this, though, creating tools which enable many operations to be performed without cutting someone open at all. Options like this are great, as they not only improve the time in which someone is being operated on, but will also speed up their recovery, too.

Improved Knowledge

The medical field is always expanding, with new minds being put to tasks which have been explored for decades. With this ever-increasing well of knowledge, modern surgeons have an edge over their traditional counterparts, and this can make their job move a lot faster. Many of the procedures they are performing will have been done thousands of times. There will be resources available to them which make it easier, and advancements in the procedures being used can be spread between hospitals like never before. A new world of medical science is being opened up, and this makes the job of a surgeon all the easier.

Reading this should leave you feeling a sense of calm about your next visit to the hospital. While many people go through their whole lives without an operation, you can never predict what might happen in the future, and this makes it worth learning about the field now. As time goes on, this will only improve, though you should never put off a surgery when you need it, and should feel confident that the people working on your body know exactly what they’re doing.

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Keeping Your Small Business’ Online Presence Up to Date

The internet is becoming an increasingly important tool for small businesses. In fact, it is pretty much essential to have a visible online presence if you want to be successful. Just look at the success of online-only businesses such as Amazon and ASOS, and take into account that the vast majority of high street retailers also have a website to complement their brick-and-mortar store. Operating online allows customers to order goods from you from the comfort of their own home, without the hassle of driving and parking. This is convenient for most people, particularly if you offer next-day deliveries. It also allows you to work on 24 hours a day, seven days a week basis. Online stores do not need to be manned, and it also allows you to operate on a global scale, with the simple addition of international shipping options. However, merely setting up a website and thinking that is it is not going to bring the customers to you. No, you have to put work in to make sure your website is up to date and visible amongst the millions of other sites on the world wide web.

 Here are a couple of critical areas to focus on:

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Web design

It is relatively easy to design and build a website, but if this is something you are not confident about, it is best left to the professionals. For an online business, your website is your storefront – it is the first thing your customers see, and it will say a lot about you. Studies have shown that most people will decide whether they will stay on your page within three seconds of clicking on it. What may have been appealing in the past may be outdated, so you cannot guarantee that customers will keep coming back if you never update or revamp your site!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a concept that still remains alien to many business owners, despite being a relatively simple concept to master. In its most fundamental sense, SEO is about choosing the very best keywords for your site – the words that people are searching for your goods and services would use and incorporating it into your website content. However, optimizing your website is one of the best things you can do for your site, so again, getting a professional, such as SEOExplode to give you some assistance is well worth it. It will help you rank much more highly in search engines, above your competitors and give you an edge.

External linking

Another way to get your website high up in search engine listings is to have a high domain authority (DA). Essentially, if you have a high DA, your website has authority. One of the best ways to increase this, as well as producing useful and engaging content, is to have other sites link to you. Working with bloggers is an excellent way of doing this. 

Social media

Social media is one of the most effective – and cheapest – marketing tools you have to hand. The vast majority of the western population are active on social media, so if you are not utilizing that to the very best of your ability, you are missing out big time! Facebook is superb for engaging customers, drawing them in with exciting content and offers. Instagram, as long as you use high quality, curated images, is the perfect place to advertise products, and Twitter is great for conversation and short, to the point information and messages. Again, there are professionals out there who can manage your social media on your behalf if it is something that you feel you can’t do or do not have time for.

Pay-per-click advertising

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) or cost-per-click advertising (CPC) are two great ways to draw in traffic. Essentially, a website such as Google will advertise your business in their banners, sidebars, and their listings under a sponsored tab, but you only pay when a customer clicks on them – hence the name. They work well because most PPC/CPC agencies allow you to really focus your advertising on your target audience. You can select the demographic down to location and interests, and your adverts will be shown to them, making it a relatively low cost and effective form of marketing.

These are just a few ways that you can help to ensure that your small business’ online presence is visible and up to date Incorporate them into your business practices sooner rather than later to bring in traffic and to maximize your sales!

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Adopting An Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

So, you’ve got a side hustle, and you’re thinking of taking it full time. But in all that, you want to be sure it’ll pay off. You want to be sure you’ll be dedicated to it. And most of all, you want to be sure both you and the profits are in it for the long haul! And in the modern day and age, and when attention is grabbed easily from marketing niche to the next, it can be hard to achieve longevity. 

Which is why it’s so important to adopt the entrepreneurial lifestyle – and yes, this is a thing! It’s key to making sure you reach your stride in the business world whilst standing on your own two feet. Without further ado, here are a few elements to get you started. 

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Keep Eating and Moving

An entrepreneur can get very busy. They can lose a lot of time in their day. And because of this, it’s important to put emphasis on eating right and staying active. You might be stuck at a desk all day for the foreseeable future, and that’s not good for your body! 

So, think about taking on a healthy eating diet – one that packs you up with energy, and puts good portions of fruits, veg, carbs, and protein on your plate. At the same time, be sure to make time to get outside walking, at least 3 times a week. And if you feel like, why not start getting up just a bit early a couple times a week to fit a morning jog in? 

Listen to an Expert

There’s plenty of advice out there. When you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, because you have your own idea for a service and you know you’ve got what it takes to make it big, you’ll need to listen and collect this advice for future purposes! It’s important to take into account the words of people who have made it before you, and there’s always something further to learn the more research you do. 

And thankfully, it’s becoming more and more easy to learn the ins and outs of the entrepreneur’s world. For example, an entrepreneur podcast would ping back a thousand or more search results if you typed it into Google! Listen to them all, at least once, and see which ones fit your style of learning best; be sure to take the host’s personality into account, and see if they ever delve into your niche.

Work Where You Want

Finally, be sure to work where you want. Find a place to settle down in that suits you best, and craft your own little working nest out of it. If you’re going to live the entrepreneurial life, you’re going to need to find comfort in your working conditions, especially if you’re working from home! 

If you’ve got some spare time on your hands, or a side hustle that you think could make you some big money, work to adopt the right lifestyle.

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