San Francisco-based AirHelp has been announced as the winner of the 2014 Spark powered by Rackspace award at the inaugural Collision Conference in Downtown Las Vegas. The San Francisco-based startup beat over 30 technology startups, which were selected from 500 applicants, and won a cash prize of $10,000 plus a fund of services.
AirHelp is an easy way to get the money people are owed by airlines when flights are disrupted. It allows users to submit their claim though the website and app and takes care of the hassle for the claimant. AirHelp only receives 25 percent of the compensation if the claim is successful. Since its launch in Europe last year, the company has helped “tens of thousands” before expanding their service to US domestic flights.
“This idea came because we are frequent fliers ourselves and constantly had issues. We thought there is no way we can be left to fend for ourselves,” said CEO and founder Henrik Zillmer.
The recent Y Combinator Winter 2014 graduate basically looks at your flight and checks whether you’re legally owed any compensation. Once you give them the power of attorney, they go get your compensation from the airlines.
“We help you out when you are in a position where you are helpless. When airlines, insurance or travel agency is not there to help you,” explains Zillmer.
On winning Collision's Spark Award, “We’re super excited about this – it is a huge honor. We’ve respected everything the organizers of The Summit have done since day one, and now they’re launching in the US and we’re proud to be the first winners of Collision’s Spark Award.” Zilmer continued to say, “It’s another stamp of approval that this is a valid business model and that we have entered into an industry that has been notoriously hard to get into due to high customer acquisition costs and we’re doing something that helps a lot of people.”