Airline Screw Up Again? This NYC Startup Helps Make Sure the Airline Pays For It



Planes get delayed. Flights cancelled. Connections missed. What can you do?

AirHelp is there to help you do something about it. AirHelp helps air passengers get compensation from airlines when their flight has been cancelled, delayed or overbooked, and most air passengers don’t even know they may be entitled up to $800 in compensation when that happens! Or they don’t want to spend the time dealing with the paperwork of the airline, who is making the process very difficult and time-consuming.

AirHelp is there to see that you get your money back, and about time someone was on the case!

On the AirHelp website, smartphone app or Facebook page, air passengers can check if they are eligible for compensation and request AirHelp to handle the claim on their behalf on a NO WIN, NO FEE deal. If the claim is successful, AirHelp keeps 25% of the compensation amount.

You have up to three years to file the paperwork, so what are you waiting for?

Founder and CMO Nicolas Michaelsen tells us more about this game-changer for air passengers.

Tell us about the service.

AirHelp helps you get money back from airlines when they screw up your flight.

You can see if you are eligible for compensation from a delayed, cancelled or over booked flight in the last three years by searching your inbox. Go to getairhelp.com and connect with Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook. You can also manually enter your flight details to check your eligibility.

The claim will automatically and instantly be validated and AirHelp will inform you of what amount you could be eligible for. AirHelp will then handle all of the details until the funds are transferred into the recipients account

How is it different?

Today, there isn’t anything similar on the US market. In Europe, there are a couple of law firms that started a side business getting compensation for delayed flights, but they are very local and don’t have a tech or global approach. We started AirHelp with the idea that we could help all passengers in the world through technology.


Nicolas Michaelsen

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

Every year, three billion people use air transport to realize business or tourism needs – a number that’s expected to reach six billion by 2030.

Our core market right now is the 8.1 million passengers in the US and EU that are entitled to $3.2 Billion in compensation annually. Since you can claim for flights three years back, the total addressable market is actually more like $9.6 Billion

What is the business model?

The average claim is about $1100 and we are compensated with 25% of the total amount paid to the passenger.

What is your startup attending Summit and what are you hoping to get out of it?

In May, we won the Spark@Collision contest in Las Vegas, which is organized by the same people as Summit. Due to that, we were invited to speak and exhibit at Summit. We’re also announcing a new product. Without revealing too much, we’ve found a way to help passengers globally in real-time, even when the law doesn’t protect them. Check the blog to stay updated. Other than that, we have a ton of meetings booked with potential partners and investors.

Outside of Summit activities, what are you looking forward to the most in Dublin?

Aside from the people, the atmosphere and the many great talks, we’re obviously hoping to spot a Leprechaun.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

  • +200.000 passengers served
  • Launch of new product that opens up the market beyond legislation

If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?

We’ve been fortunate enough to already have interest from some of the people that we had on our list, but in terms of an investor that we have a big respect for it would be Fred Wilson. He has been an integral part of making New York the tech hub it is today.

Why did your startup choose New York?

We we’re deciding between NY & SF and we ended up choosing NY for a number of different reasons. One of them being the fact that time difference between SF and Europe makes managing a team challenging. We have 43 full-time employees and most are based in Europe, so having a three-hours work hour overlap works really well for us. Additionally, we are travelling quite a lot so we have to be equally close to Europe and the west coast, and New York is perfectly located in between. Also, let’s not fool ourselves, NY is an amazing place. (period)

What’s your favorite fall destination in NYC?

  • Central Park
  • Upstate NY
  • Dumbo arts festival

1 - Initial screen

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