AirHelp helps air passengers get compensation from airlines when their flight has been cancelled, delayed or overbooked

AirHelp (YC W14) is a "justice as a service" company that provides online software to help air passengers get compensation from airlines when their flight has been cancelled, delayed or overbooked.

As AirHelp's first product designer, one of the initial key tasks was to help simplify complex claims processes and make it user friendly. AirHelp is likened to a legal startup in an air travel space.

Just like healthcare, auto and the insurance industry, eligibility and claim processes are highly complicated and requires several tedious steps for the user to file a claim.

Along with then Head of Product, Aileen we conceptualized a new AirHelp eligibility check and a itinerary builder submission process informed by over 40 user interviews conducted on travelers’ experience in booking flights and filing for claims online.

Under EU law, air passengers are entitled to a payment ranging from €250 to €600 in compensation when their flight is delayed or cancelled, depending on the length of the delay and the distance travelled on the route. With such complicated matrix, I found the first few days of my onboarding studying EU travel legal documents literally like a lawyer.

In the end, we narrowed down to 2 main personas.

1. The mobile user. A traveller whose flight had just been affected and trying to figure ways to file for compensation claims.

2. The opportunist. As affected flights can still be claimed up to a year after it had occurred, there is an opportunity for people to search for past flights and discover potential affected flights which had unclaimed compensation. These resulted in another simple but powerful product – the Inbox scanner.

Another concept which we toyed with on making the eligibility check steps look like part of a natural language sentence structure, with the hypothesis that it may be easier for the user to read and understand.

During my consulting stint, I got to experience a wonderful collaborative experience working with various remote teams based in the United States, Europe and Singapore.

AirHelp has served more than 60,000 travelers worldwide. If you just experienced a delayed flight and want to get some money back, find out if you're eligible and submit a claim here.