AirHelp looks to its future with airline partnerships

Since it was started in 2013, AirHelp has assisted more than five million passengers with airline compensation claims. Consumers can purchase the optional add-on product for $4.90 to cover all flights made under a single booking.

While not an insurance product as there is no deductible, nor service fee, AirHelp can retrieve up to $700 for flight delays and up to $7,000 in reimbursement costs for cancelled flights, directly from the airline. The company profits by taking a cut of passengers’ compensation.

The nascent company’s success has resulted in a number of partnership agreements that kicked off last January, expanded again in July to include an additional four partners and in November, further grew to include an initial affiliation with a travel insurance group. Now, AirHelp names and a number of OTAs among its partners.

Nevertheless, the team still has its sights set on bigger goals. A year after its launch, AirHelp introduced a new tool that allows users to permit searches of their Gmail boxes to find any previous flights that may qualify for claims. Since then, AirHelp has grown its technology suite to include Herman, the artificial intelligence-powered lawyer specializing in the flight delay compensation industry.

Launched last March, Herman was designed and built by AirHelp’s global legal team and technology engineers and has benefited from education on thousands of court proceedings in nearly 30 jurisdictions. Kasper Rasmussen, vice president strategic partnerships at AirHelp says:

“Herman helps us immediately determine which jurisdiction we should pursue compensation in to win. So if you’re flying Paris to Barcelona on a KLM flight, we could file claims in France, Spain and Holland.”

In addition to Herman, AirHelp is also introducting bots that can auto-process claims. However, Rasmussen also points out that the company balances its AI programming with the human touch; more than 350 claim handlers are on standby to talk to customers.

“Part of being a team member at our startup is believing in our ambition to be the next Facebook or Airbnb. We’re a young company and the average age of our staff is only 28 years old and the growth the company is experiencing will only help their careers.”

Next on the agenda is to partner with airlines as Rasmussen points out that the company is primarily a tech group and not a law firm looking to bring lawsuits.

“This is why airlines are willing to have an open dialogue with us.”

In other words, AirHelp significantly vets all claims before approaching the airlines with it. In turn, this inspection process is a cost-savings for airlines, which can then focus on those claims that are truly eligible. To that end, Rasmussen says:

“Airlines are slowly starting to show interest in how they will keep up with customer claims in the future and now they’re looking at how our technology could help them.

Specifically, that technology is advanced machine learning that determines the eligibility of all airline claims that AirHelp receives.

Beyond the airline industry, AirHelp is also looking to partner with its competitors, of which Rasmussen says there are five globally.

“We’re considering building a joint platform where all five companies can contribute data to ensure there’s no overlap between customers and claims.”

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