“Are you flying to Shanghai for Devcon Two or Blockchain Week in September? Now you can share the risk of a delayed or canceled flight with your fellow travelers on the Ethereum blockchain.”
Nobody likes when their flight is late or even completely canceled. Travelers are entitled to claim compensation from the airlines, but the process is lengthy and purposefully complicated. The Flight Delay Dapp is a real-world example of how Ethereum can prove to be beneficial outside of the tech world. Similar to an insurance policy, this Dapp shows how smart contracts are automatically executing, thus benefiting the traveler in case of unforeseen events.
Flight Delay was originally inspired by other projects of prototypes built on Ethereum that deal with flight delays. A team around Christoph Mussenbrock formed this Dapp for those heading to Shanghai for Devcon 2 and International Blockchain Week. Stephan Karpischek of Flight Delay invites people to give it a try since the Dapp is now live on the mainnet.
The contract is currently deployed on the Ethereum mainnet, address is0x4D54bE5a62F5d9fcF4b17C7ab6e68822C142ec6B. Verify the source code on etherscan or ether.camp and fork it at github.com. We also have a version of the contract on Morden testnet.
Users can simply choose their flight by selecting an origin, destination airport, and the date of their departure. (Departure times must be more than 24 hours in the future.) Users then apply for a policy: Policy applications show probabilities of flights being delayed more than 15, 30, and 45 minutes, or canceled or diverted altogether. The user will then enter the premium payment amount of Ether they wish to pay for the smart contract. A minimum of .5 ETH and a maximum of 5 ETH per policy is accepted. Estimated payouts will show in case of the respective delays.
The user then applies for the policy, approves the transaction, then waits for the transaction to be mined. Once completed, the policy will be listed below.
The underwriting oracle will then check and approve or reject your application. Please note that the underwriting oracle only accepts direct flights with departure times until 26 September 2016 12.00 noon UTC. Also note that you need to apply at least 24 hours before the flight’s scheduled departure.
If your flight is delayed, canceled or diverted, the payout oracle will automatically pay the corresponding sum to your address.
The team with Fight Delay warns users that this is a short-term experiment and is meant to be a showcase for Dapps and not a commercial offering. They are funding this out of their pockets with a little support from friends but are looking for additional sponsors if they would like to help out. Sponsors can contact them here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The contract uses oraclize (thanks to Thomas Bertani for the great support) and the flightstats API as data source. To pay for the oracles, and to cover the tail risks, the contract deducts a 3% fee off the premium payments.
Expected payouts converge to the sum of paid-in premiums minus the 3% fee. If the contract ends up with a surplus after all policies are paid out or expired, the remaining amount will be donated to the Ethereum foundation’s tip jar.
To learn more about the underlying risk model, design decisions, and how the contract works in detail, stay tuned. Flight Delay looks forward to questions and feedback on their site and during Devcon 2.