11/18/2014 02:11 pm ET Updated Jan 18, 2015

Thanksgiving Travel: How to Get Money Back on Flight Delays

Great news folks: Thanksgiving is right around the corner! But beware... Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year. This means more flight delays, overbookings and cancellations.

Did you know that you can actually claim cash for any of these travel mishaps?? But fewer than 2 percent of eligible travelers actually try! In other words, airlines are keeping up to $16 billion of unclaimed cash!

Here's how you do it.

Flight Delays

As of March 2014, 1 million flights have already been cancelled or delayed.

If you're traveling in Europe and your flight is delayed for more than three hours, you can claim up to $800!

If your flight did not originate in Europe, these rights do not apply.

Flight Overbookings

In 2013, 467,000 passengers were bumped from overbooked flights! According to the U.S. Transportation Law, you can claim up to $1,300 if you're involuntarily bumped from a flight. Best part is, you can submit claims that are up to 3 years old!

In the U.S., you can access the required forms through the Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection.

For European flights, forms can be found at individual airlines or you can contact the European Commission. &

Both these websites will help you determine if you are eligible to submit a claim.

All you have to do is log on and enter your flight information. They will immediately tell you if and what you are eligible for!

Best part is, you also have the option of having them process the claim for you for a percentage charge of what you are owed. Less hassle!

Pro Tip: also has a Smartphone app! Say you just heard that your flight is delayed... all you have to do is pull out your phone, type in you flight information and you will immediately know if you're owed some money!