Review of Airhelp in 2021: A Complete Overview on Fees, Convenience, Payout Time & Customer Experience
Airhelp helps passengers claim compensation of up to € 600 from airlines – minus its 35-50% success rate. But is this offer preferable compared to alternatives? One may well wonder, especially in view of the wide range of different fees Airhelp can charge: Is it the best flight compensation company on the market?
To answer this question and to put Airhelp’s service and conditions in perspective, Qamqam subjected the passenger rights website to a detailed test and compared it with competitors in 2021. This also included an evaluation of the experience customers have had with Airhelp so far.
The most important findings from this review are summarized concisely right at the beginning of this article. All details concerning fees, the duration of the procedure of Airhelp’s service, its convenience and customer ratings can be found further below.
Compare Airhelp with other flight compensation websites now.
Qamqam has conducted a thorough examination of
- the fees Airhelp charges for its services.
- how long it takes for Airhelp to confirm an application and pay the promised compensation to customers.
- how much effort a passenger has to invest to use the service.
- what positive and negative experiences customers have had (evaluation of customer feedback).
In Qamqam’s rating system, Airhelp achieves an average overall score of 3.3 out of 5 possible stars.
The company can certainly point to positive customer reviews in a direct comparison with rivals. However, Airhelp lags behind its competitors in terms of the level of its success rates, the convenience of its online form and the waiting time until payout.
The results of our research can be summarized as follows. This is how Airhelp performs under the aspects we have considered:
|Airhelp||35-50% (incl. VAT)|
|Other websites||≈ 29% (incl. VAT)|
|Other companies||max. 450,00€|
|Other companies||1-3 days|
|Other websites||Very high|
To illustrate how Qamqam arrived at its rating for Airhelp, each of the following sections is dedicated to one of the review categories listed above. Step by step, the article discusses Airhelp’s service under these different criteria. If you want to learn more about how Airhelp performs in relation to competing flight compensation websites, you can find additional information on this page.
Not every airline is prepared to settle compensation claims at the first request. In many cases, carriers will not pay the lump-sum owed for a delay or cancellation to passengers unless they are sued. To help enforce claims at zero cost risk despite this frequent rejection is the business model of passenger rights websites like Airhelp.
Therefore, the company must either limit itself to collecting debt from airlines that pay up relatively fast or – for economic reasons – charge the higher rate including the Legal Action Fee. For similar reasons, EUclaim was forced to raise the level of its success fee at the beginning of 2019. Similarly, Airhelp’s largest rival Flightright introduced a surcharge for legal proceedings in 2019. It is added to the rate it charges whenever a law firm is hired to conduct a legal dispute with the airline, e.g. for court proceedings.
If this would only affect a negligible number of cases, especially the two major flight compensation websites Airhelp and Flightright probably would have been able to go without the additional remuneration. Since they charge it nevertheless, it can be assumed that a higher success fee impacts their revenues considerably due to the significant amount of cases that require court proceedings. For an individual customer this also means that he is likely to contribute a higher premium to the overall fees Airhelp generates.
While alternative flight compensation companies continue to charge substantially lower fees, Airhelp can only achieve three out of five possible stars in the review category of compensation levels. If you want to compare the fees charged by the largest European passenger rights websites in case of a specific flight, please use our free tool.
Of course, the exact timing of a payout by a given service provider for an individual case cannot be projected with complete certainty. Especially with respect to collection agencies, the waiting time depends on the specific reaction of the airline to the claim for flight compensation. Often the behavior of carriers frequently changes: This may be because their available capacities to process cases out of court varies or because they adapt their strategy concerning how to respond to claims out of court (whether to reject some or all of them outright or whether to engage in protracted disputes at this stage or not respond until a lawsuit is brought forth).
Overall, however, Airhelp’s payout speed can be put into perspective as follows: There are various competitors who can help customers to get their flight compensation significantly faster. In contrast to collection service providers like Airhelp, factoring companies enjoy a comparative advantage by paying out flight compensation to passengers within a few days upon their application through their web apps – even before legal action is taken against the airline.
Like all other collection agencies, Airhelp therefore receives only three out of five possible stars in the payout period category. To get to know more about the ranking of different companies under this criterion, we recommend the page linked right here, which discusses how the largest flight compensation websites speed up the compensation process.
As a unique selling point, Airhelp has developed an app that is designed to facilitate filling out its online form on a mobile device. However, since this app has to be installed first and presumably does not use automated database queries, the application does not appear to be much more comfortable than using the website itself. In the opinion of the Qamqam editors, the app does not expedite the application process tremendously compared to an online form simply optimized for usage on a mobile device that most of Airhelp’s competitors provide as well.
Consequently, Airhelp achieves only three of the possible five stars under the aspect of convenience. How other claim companies perform in this category is covered in this comparison of established European service providers.
Our detailed comparison with other flight compensation providers shows that most competitors outperform Airhelp in terms of customer satisfaction. Multiple rivals receive relatively better ratings from their users.
Below, Qamqam summarizes pieces of praise and criticism that stand out in the feedback from Airhelp’s customers:
Above all, users enjoy the professional handling of compensation procedures: Even during longer waiting periods, Airhelp communicates continuously with customers and keeps them up to date with interim reports on the status of the legal proceedings, according to published feedback.
In the eyes of many reviewers, the reliability of the company even compensates for its high success fees. For many customers, Airhelp’s convenience compared to enforcing claims by themselves seem to justify the price of the service. Hence, the overall experience with Airhelp is often very positive.
In most cases, Airhelp also seems to confirm the initial assessment of a claim in the online form quickly and to initiate the necessary further steps without hesitation.
Customers also often praise Airhelp for the fact that they generally pay out flight compensation immediately after it has been obtained. Up until now, the waiting time is very rarely increased by any internal delays in the company’s accounting department, judging by published customer opinions.
Besides, users expressly appreciate the helpfulness of Airhelp’s customer care unit. A growing number of comments indicates that Airhelp has actively supported users in clarifying the circumstances of the specific flight experience even when they lacked recollections themselves.
In addition, the mobile app’s user-friendly functionality is often mentioned positively and at least appears to be more sophisticated than rival products – for example, the one developed by the company Wir kaufen deinen Flug. Multiple customers have expressed appreciation for the fact that the app displays the complete preliminary check from the online form. It even allows to upload travel documents along with the application to Airhelp. Nonetheless, the integration of a mobile device’s camera function into the app’s interface needs improvement according to some customers. Apparently, it sometimes causes the app to crash when users try to take a picture of their boarding pass.
Some customers heavily criticize Airhelp’s success rate as exceptionally high. With reference to competitors, multiple users show little understanding for the fact that only relatively small amounts of the compensation they are entitled to is paid out after fees are deduced.
In addition, several users complain that Airhelp rejects applications too hastily when the company anticipates protracted legal proceedings. Because of this, the flight compensation site is regularly accused of „cherry-picking“: Airhelp prioritizes applications regarding claims that are comparatively easy to enforce, according to various users. To what extent this criticism is valid cannot be judged with absolute certainty. However, it should be point out that this notion is expressed repeatedly on review websites.
Many customers also report that after a long waiting period they were informed that the proceedings had been discontinued due to diminishing prospects of success. A few reviews even suggest that users were only informed after a processing time of five months or longer had already elapsed.
Furthermore, some customers voice their dissatisfaction with the tedious communication with Airhelp. They regarded the information on ongoing proceedings as insufficient and too unspecific. The answers of the collection agency are said to be partly composed of text modules and were not individually tailored to respond to the customer’s concrete inquiry. Inferring from this feedback, Airhelp apparently fails to ensure its customer service’s professionality across the board. On the other hand, Flightright and FairPlane, for example, with equally long experience in the collection business, manage to communicate more routinely.
How representative are the reviewed customer ratings?
It can be assumed that Airhelp has probably made more than a hundred thousand compensation payments to customers since its foundation. This would at least be the logical inference from its own statements and its status as the largest flight compensation company worldwide. Thus, the publicly available reviews we digested represent only a small portion of Airhelp’s customer base.
This in turn raises the question how satisfied the rest of its users was with the company’s service. Due to the lack of additional published evaluations, there are of course no specific indications in this regard. It is probably true, however, that the respective portion of customers neither felt enough enthusiasm nor frustration to be prompted to write a public review. This indicates that most users were moderately satisfied with Airhelp.
Against this background, Airhelp receives four out of five possible stars in the review category covering customer ratings. To find out more about how competitors are scoring under this aspect please refer to this article which features an overall comparison of 9 large European flight compensation websites.