Flying app's unconventional path includes refunds, 3D-printed mapsNews / Technology | OnlineBy Sean O'Neil | October 9, 2013Share This article was originally published on Flying, an iPhone app that debuted this year, helps travelers manage their itineraries -- a service that TripIt, TripCase, WorldMate, Google Now, and other apps also offer.To stand out from its competitors, Flying aims to have the hippest aesthetics and the cleverest add-on features.Today, for instance, it announces a refund-tracking service. It has also begun taking orders for physical, 3D-printed itineraries, which will begin to be shipped by the winter holidays.No wonder that the makers of Flying, the Hamburg startup, Seat 4a, beat out 45 competitors to win Germany's "travel startup of the year" contest run by the country's online travel industry.The app has drawn 17,000 users in its first year with no marketing, with about 60% in the US, 30% in Europe and 10% elsewhere.Flying, with styleThe Flying app (for iPhone only) presents a traveler's itinerary in the latest fashion for graphic design. Case in point: Users can collect old-fashioned "stamps" for each destination visited. The stamps have a graphic design that mimics rounded, almost smudged impressions of inky metal striking paper on passports.Flying has just added a "claim management" feature by partnering with German service Flightright. When a flight is canceled, the airline is responsible for getting passengers on its next departure with open seats. The app will notify users if they may be able to claim compensation of 250 to 600 Euros from the airline.It's a Europe-focused monitoring service for now: It only works when a flight is departing or arriving from a European airport gets delayed or cancelled. The service is offered automatically after an itinerary is uploaded.There's no up-front fee, so it's "risk free." If a traveler does successful claim, the app takes a 25% cut of the compensation recovered.An app that 3D prints physical souvenir mapsFlying's biggest trick is due in late November, it will let user order physical maps of their itinerary, printed by 3D manufactuer Shapeways and shipped to their home. The mini-sculptures, which suggest the arcs of planes rising and falling between airports on a map, can already be pre-ordered.The project, called Loci, is illustrated in a video, below:loci - 3D Printed Sculptures From Your Flights from Andrew Spitz on Vimeo.Flying - an iPhone app for all your air travel from Flying on Vimeo.