Lawyer shares hacks travellers can learn from reading ‘fine print’ of airline policies

A lawyer has develop into a trending supply of helpful journey data after dedicating her TikTok account to the hacks that can be realized from reading the effective print.

Erika Kullberg, who goes by the username @erikakullberg on TikTok, the place she has greater than 7m followers, often makes use of the platform to share suggestions and methods for every thing from an “instant Nike discount” to saving $400 at Apple. 

However, she has develop into an web sensation together with her latest travel-focused movies, by which she has shared some of the methods individuals can be compensated by airways when issues go improper.

In one video posted in October, Kullberg, a graduate from Georgetown Law, role-played a state of affairs with United Airlines a couple of passenger’s baggage being delayed.

In the clip, Kullberg, pretending to speak to a United customer support consultant, is instructed that the airline can not do something about her delayed bag, earlier than telling the airline worker that she’s “actually read your terms and I know that if my bag is delayed, United will reimburse me for any expenses up to $3,500”.

The TikTok, which has been seen greater than 16m occasions, concluded with Kullberg portraying how she would efficiently obtain cash from the airline, with the fictional airline worker asking: “Who taught you this?” to which she responded: “Erika did! She’s a lawyer and reads the fine print so I don’t have to.”

On United’s web site, it notes that, whether it is “unable to find your bag after five days, you may be eligible for $1,500 for the value of your baggage and its contents without requiring any documentation”.

“If the value of your lost bag and its contents is more than $1,500, you can document and claim a higher amount, with receipts. The most you can claim is $3,500 for flights within the US,” the airline states.

In one other video, Kullberg addressed broken baggage, with the TikToker performing out a skit involving American Airlines. In the clip, the lawyer, following the identical format, informs the airline worker that her bag has been broken, to which they first declare there may be nothing they can do.

“She has no idea I know this – watch this,” Erika continued, earlier than telling the worker: “I’ve actually read your terms and I know that if my bag is damaged, American Airlines will reimburse me for expenses up to $3,800.

On the airline’s website, it states: “If your checked bag is lost, damaged or delayed, we will pay the provable value of the losses up to $3,800 (or up to $5,000 if you declare excess value).”

On her TikTok, Kullberg additionally devoted a video, which has been seen greater than 3.4m occasions, to overbooked flights, and what passengers are entitled to in the event that they volunteer to surrender their seats.

According to Kullberg, whereas airline staff could declare that volunteers who agree to surrender their seats are solely entitled to vouchers, the effective print typically states that passengers can obtain money.

After Kullberg acted out an airline worker agreeing to present a passenger $200 money and rebook them on one other flight the subsequent morning, the lawyer famous that volunteers can ask for extra.

“I’m going to need a little more than that. My friend Erika gave up her seat and you gave her $1,000 cash plus a hotel room for the night plus free meals, plus transfers between the airport and the hotel,” Kullberg responded, earlier than asking that she even be rebooked in first-class.

In one video, which has been seen greater than 36.3m occasions, Kullberg knowledgeable viewers about their rights in relation to “involuntary denied boarding”, which she stated refers to cases the place passengers are bumped from a flight and rebooked as a result of the flight was too full.

In the TikTok, Kullberg refers back to the Department of Transportation, which notes that passengers are entitled to 4 occasions the fee of one-way fare if their arrival is delayed by greater than two hours. However, the DOT does state that airways could restrict the compensation to $1,500.

On TikTok, Kullberg additionally shared a journey hack that helps American Airlines passengers if their flight has been delayed. In the clip, posted this week, she defined that, if the delay is the fault of the airways, and if the brand new flight doesn’t board earlier than 11.59pm, the airline has to pay for the fee of a resort for the night time.

In the feedback, Kullberg shared the effective print for her followers, which she famous can be present in American Airlines’ Contract of Carriage.

“Hi besties! Here’s the fine print in case you ever need it (can be found on American Airlines Contract of Carriage),” she wrote, including that the effective print reads: “If the disruption is our fault or you’re diverted to another city, and we don’t board before 11.59 pm local time on your scheduled arrival day, we’ll arrange an overnight stay or cover the cost of an approved hotel, if available.”

While Kullberg’s role-playing movies have develop into a meme on the app, the place TikTok customers have joked in regards to the reactions in the event that they had been to really inform airline staff that they realized the information from Kullberg, the TikToker has additionally obtained a whole lot of grateful feedback.

“You are an absolute legend,” one particular person wrote, whereas one other stated, in response to Kullberg’s video about being bumped from a flight on account of overbooking: “Erika, I just used this tip at the airport coming back home from Virginia. I’ve literally got enough money to pay for another trip. Thank you.”

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