AirHelp celebrates 10 years with milestone 1.5 million paid compensation

AirHelp celebrates 10 years with milestone 1.5 million paid compensation

Last updated on January 25, 2023

At AirHelp we’re proud to be celebrating our first decade fighting for the rights of air passengers all over the world. And to boot, we’ve ensured that 1.5 million passengers got paid the compensation they’re owed — not many 10 year olds can say that!

To mark our 10-year birthday, let’s look back at our biggest achievements, how we’ve helped air passengers, and made travel better for all.

How AirHelp has made flying better over the years

January 2013AirHelp is founded!
May 2013We launch our website with a simple webform so customers can easily submit a flight compensation claim.
End of 2015We’re present in 17 countries and 14 languages, making us accessible to many passengers.
January 2017Launch of AirHelp Plus membership program means passengers can access AirHelp’s service for a small fee and receive 100% of any compensation they are eligible for.
March 2017We create the world’s first AI lawyer, Herman, who helps us process large numbers of compensation claims quickly and accurately.
November 2017Herman is joined by Lara, the world’s second AI lawyer.
January 2018We co-found APRA to campaign on behalf of passengers and improve air passenger rights.
January 2019We start to help AirHelp Plus members reclaim costs from a flight disruption in addition to their compensation.
July 2019Brazil launch. We can now support passengers under a second regulation: Brazil’s ANAC 400.
Spring 2020Covid-19 pandemic. We’re a vocal advocate for passengers getting cash refunds for canceled flights.
September 2020We start selling a Complete plan for AirHelp Plus members, which includes access to airport lounges when your flight gets delayed.
August 2021AirHelp’s live chat support is now available 24/7.
May 2022The first edition of the Air Passenger Rights Guide is released.
August 2022We introduce AirPayout, our first insurance product, for selected AirHelp Plus members.

Laws we’ve changed and precedents we’ve set

AirHelp has the largest network of lawyers specialized in air passenger rights. Over the years, the arguments they’ve made and the cases they’ve won have made air passenger rights fairer for everyone, not just our customers. 

Passengers are entitled to compensation for airline strikes

In 2019, Scandinavian airline SAS left 370,000 passengers stranded at airports due to a strike held by their pilots. In 2021, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favor of AirHelp, confirming that all passengers affected by airline staff strikes are entitled to compensation. This decision benefits millions of passengers affected by airline strikes, including past strikes, which can be claimed for retroactively. 

Passengers are entitled to compensation if an airline brings a flight forward

In December 2021, AirHelp won a case against Laudamotion where the ECJ ruled that rescheduling a flight to one hour earlier than the original departure time should be considered a cancellation, and thus passengers may claim compensation.

Passengers in Belgium have 5 years to submit a claim

In July 2021, AirHelp managed to increase the limitation period for making a claim from 1 to 5 years.

Non-EU airlines can be sued in the place of departure

In 2021, the Italian Supreme Court upheld that in cases of flight delay compensation claims, the jurisdiction will always be determined by the place of departure, even if it is a non-EU airline. This judgment confirms that everyone — including passengers who are not European citizens — are entitled to compensation under EC 261.

Infants are eligible for compensation

In a case won in Denmark in May 2017, the court ruled that infants (under 2 years) are eligible for compensation, even if they do not have a designated seat, so long as the parents paid a fee for taking the baby with them on the aircraft. 

Passengers still get compensation if they opt for a refund

In a case in Sweden in October 2017, the court confirmed that if passengers do not accept the alternative flight offered by the airline following a cancellation, they can still get compensation, even if their flight ticket was already reimbursed. 

Passengers on connecting flights receive compensation based on the entire journey

AirHelp won a case in Poland in September 2017 where a passenger claimed compensation for a disrupted multi-leg flight where the delay was during the second leg. The airline paid for just the second leg and not the whole route, but thanks to AirHelp’s efforts, the court decided that the compensation was due for the whole route. This set a new precedent going forward.

Fairer airline terms and conditions

AirHelp has filed multiple cases where they consider airlines’ terms and conditions to be unfair to passengers. For example, Ryanair has had to remove a clause which says passengers can only sue them in Irish courts from their terms and conditions in Italy, Germany and Denmark.

Removing unnecessary hurdles to claiming compensation

AirHelp has filed multiple claims where we feel airlines place an unnecessarily high burden of proof on the customer in order to claim compensation. For example, in France in 2018 and 2019, AirHelp won 47 cases to demonstrate that passengers do not need to present a boarding pass in order to claim compensation.

We can't wait to see what the next decade holds...

Phew! We've achieved a lot in 10 years, but we promise you, we’re just getting started. We’re on a mission to make air travel the best possible experience for all. Here’s to the next 10 years!

Remember, if your flight is delayed over 3 hours or canceled, check if you’re entitled to compensation. You could be owed as much as €600, and we’re here to help you get it. 

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AirHelp is a part of the Association of Passenger Rights Advocates (APRA) whose mission is to promote and protect passengers’ rights.


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