Millions of People Are Owed Money From Airlines—Here's How to See If You're One of Them

iStock
iStock

Air travel not only costs you money—it can also end up costing you a lot of valuable time otherwise spent at your destination. No matter how much you pay to secure a seat on a plane, flight delays and cancellations are impossible to anticipate. Fortunately, there are cases where airlines will compensate you for that lost time, and a new service called AirHelp makes it easier to claim the money you’re owed.

To use AirHelp, you can start by either visiting the website or downloading the app from the App Store or Google Play. Next, submit the information for a flight you had booked sometime in the past three years that was disrupted. If you were set to fly out of New York to Chicago last Thanksgiving, for example, you would input the names of both airports, give the airline, flight number, and departure date, and specify if the flight was delayed, canceled, or if you were bumped from the flight and how long you were left waiting at the airport (you can also say what reason the airline gave you, if you remember). Based on this information, AirHelp will tell you if you’re eligible for compensation and how much is owed. That way, you can reach out to the airline knowing what to expect.

According to AirHelp, over 9 million air passengers are eligible for compensation for disrupted flights annually, but many of them never follow up with the airlines that owe them money. More than $413 million was left unclaimed in 2017 just from delayed flights from the U.S. to Europe. That means that people are missing out on up to hundreds of dollars per flight that could be funding their next getaway.

If you’re one of the many flyers who was inconvenienced by bad weather this winter, check AirHelp to see if it's worth pursuing a claim. Here are some tips for receiving the biggest flight reimbursement possible.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]