Lawyer course

Lawyer shares tips travelers can learn by reading the ‘fine print’ of airline policies

A lawyer has become a trending source of useful travel information after dedicating her TikTok account to tips that can be learned by reading the fine print.

Erika Kullberg, who calls herself @erikakullberg on TikTok, where she has more than 7 million subscribers, frequently uses the platform to share tips and tricks for everything from an “instant Nike discount” to a saving of. $ 400 at Apple.

However, she has become an internet sensation with her recent travel-focused videos, in which she shared some of the ways people can be compensated by airlines when things go wrong.

In a video released in October, Georgetown Law graduate Kullberg performed a script with United Airlines about a passenger’s baggage delay.

In the clip, Kullberg, pretending to speak to a United customer service representative, is told there is nothing the airline can do about his delayed baggage, before telling the airline employee that she “actually read your terms and I know if my bag is delayed United will reimburse me for all expenses up to $ 3,500.”

The TikTok, which has been viewed over 16 million times, ended with Kullberg describing how she would manage to receive money from the airline, the fictitious airline employee asking, “Who taught you? that?” to which she replied, “Erika did it!” She’s a lawyer and reads the fine print so I don’t have to.

On United’s website, he notes that, if he’s “unable to find your bag after five days, you may be entitled to $ 1,500 for the value of your baggage and its contents without needing any documents.”

“If the value of your lost bag and its contents is over $ 1,500, you can document and claim a higher amount, with receipts. The maximum you can claim is $ 3,500 for flights within the United States, ”the airline says.

In another video, Kullberg addressed the damaged baggage, with the TikToker playing a skit involving American Airlines. In the clip, the lawyer, following the same format, informs the airline employee that his bag has been damaged, to which they initially claim there is nothing they can do.

“She has no idea I know that – look at this,” Erika continued, before telling the employee, “I have read your terms and I know that if my bag is damaged American Airlines will reimburse me. spending up to $ 3,800.

On the airline’s website, it says: “If your checked baggage is lost, damaged or delayed, we will pay the provable value of the loss up to $ 3,800 (or up to $ 5,000 if you report a loss). excess value). “

On his TikTok, Kullberg also devoted a video, which has been viewed more than 3.4 million times, to overbooked flights and what passengers are entitled to if they volunteer to give up their seats.

According to Kullberg, while airline workers may claim that volunteers who agree to relinquish their seats are only entitled to vouchers, the fine print often indicates that passengers may receive cash.

After Kullberg played the role of an airline employee by agreeing to give a passenger $ 200 in cash and book it on another flight the next morning, the lawyer noted that volunteers may ask for more. .

“I’m going to need a little more than that. My friend Erika gave up her seat and you gave her $ 1,000 in cash plus a hotel room for the night, free meals, as well as airport-hotel transfers, ”Kullberg replied, before to request that it also be re-let in first class.

In a video, which has been viewed over 36.3 million times, Kullberg informed viewers of their rights to “involuntary denied boarding,” which she said refers to instances where passengers are kicked out of a flight and re-let because the flight was too full.

In the TikTok, Kullberg refers to the Department of Transportation, which notes that passengers are entitled to four times the cost of a one-way ticket if their arrival is delayed by more than two hours. However, the DOT says airlines can limit compensation to $ 1,500.

On TikTok, Kullberg also shared a travel hack that helps American Airlines passengers if their flight has been delayed. In the clip, released this week, she explained that if the delay is the fault of the airlines, and the new flight doesn’t board by 11:59 p.m., the airline has to pay the cost of an overnight hotel.

In the comments, Kullberg shared the fine print for her followers, which she says is in American Airlines’ contract of carriage.

” Hi buddies ! Here’s the fine print in case you need it (you can find it on American Airlines’ contract of carriage), ”she wrote, adding that the fine print reads:“ If the disruption is our fault or if you are diverted to another city, and we do not embark before 11:59 p.m. local time on the day of your scheduled arrival, we will arrange an overnight stay or cover the cost of an approved hotel, if available .

As Kullberg’s role-playing videos became a meme on the app, where TikTok users joked about the reactions if they actually told airline employees that they learned Kullberg’s tricks. , the TikToker has also received hundreds of appreciative comments.

“You are an absolute legend,” one person wrote, while another said, responding to Kullberg’s video of being kicked off a flight due to overbooking: “Erika, I just used this trick at the airport on my way back from Virginia. I literally have enough money to pay for another trip. Thank you. “