*2019 update of my real review of Kiwi.com. I have received so many messages both on this post and via Instagram/ email about Kiwi. I booked a flight with this website and it worked out for me. I am in no way suggesting that people who have ran into difficulties, are lying – I really empathise with them. But here is my review and I still stand by everything that I originally said below in April 2018.
If you are searching far and wide for a real review of Kiwi.com, you have just found it. If you don’t know what this website is, it’s an online middle man which finds good deals on flights. However, one simple Google search of these guys will bring up an abundance of ‘avoid’, ‘scam’, ‘DO NOT USE THIS WEBSITE’ posts online.
It will also bring up a lot of fishy looking positive articles that claim to be a real review of Kiwi.com, but I really could not tell you if they are genuine or not. SO, after taking the risk and booking a flight through them, I have discovered that no, Kiwi.com is not a scam. I think you just have to follow a few guidelines.
My really really real review of Kiwi.com (I promise!):
A few weeks ago, in my desperate search to find a last minute flight (aka one week before the date), I was breaking all my travel rules and looking for flights outside of the airline websites. When I searched on Skyscanner, I found a pretty amazing price for a flight to Copenhagen and it was listed on this site that I had never heard of.
Having had near bad experiences with middle man websites, I looked thoroughly into finding a real review of Kiwi.com and so I went straight to TrustPilot. I personally believe that TrustPilot is a pretty good indication of the authenticity of a website, but I am not naïve to think that every single positive review on there is created by a genuine person.
Nonetheless, with over 14,000 reviews giving an average of 4 stars for Kiwi, I was pretty happy to book the flight. I also noticed that most of the complaints were about the following:
1. People missing their connecting flight
2. People angry about paying extra for baggage
3. People furious that they did not get a refund (on a non-refundable purchase)
The person that I was booking for was getting a direct flight, had no check-in baggage and was definitely not cancelling and therefore not going to be looking for a refund. I thought it was strange that you don’t check-in yourself (they do this for you within 24 hours of your departure time). I’ll be honest I was worried because of the scary stories and my major inability to find a credible positive review of Kiwi.com anywhere online.
So I emailed them literally 22 hours before the flight, and just as I hit send – that boarding pass was already making its way to my inbox. The agent also replied to my worried query straight away and of course asked me to leave a TrustPilot review and asked me to mention their name if I was happy with the service – so this is when I realised why they have so many 5 star reviews on TrustPilot, all mentioning how X helped them (before they even get on the flight). So, I’m pretty sure those kind of people are all leaving a real review of Kiwi.com – again, I don’t know for sure, but these are my thoughts.
THE BIG MOMENT THAT I WAS REASSURED:
When I got the boarding pass I simply went on to the actual airline’s website, put in the booking reference (make sure it’s the one on the boarding pass and not the Kiwi one!)… and the last name of passenger, et voila – if it is all legit, you should be in the airline’s system ! If you are not, then I would be asking questions. But it worked for me so what more can I say? Below is an example of how you would do this on Norwegian Airlines in ‘Menu’ and then ‘Booking’.
*2019 update: I have been on countless flights (booked directly with the airlines) since booking with Kiwi and I have learnt something invaluable. DO NOT rely on anyone, not the airline, not third parties like Kiwi, not airline apps, no one – other than yourself – to check the status of your flight. Flights get cancelled all the time and the AIRPORT website will have this information.
I was in Cuba with about 12 minutes of WiFi left on my phone on our last day, when I decided to check the status of our flight home with reputable airlines Air Canada which connected to Brussels Airlines. Our third and final flight home had been cancelled and neither airlines informed us. Had I not checked this, we would have been stranded in London for 24 hours at the end of a very very long journey.
Moral of the story: Even booking directly through an airline, does not exempt you from cancelled flights and not being updated about it. No matter what, always check the status of your flight on the airport website, especially when connecting and travelling long haul.
• Like many others have said, you could just use Kiwi to get an idea of routes, airports and destinations that you maybe didn’t know about. I agree that this is a cool function
• I personally wouldn’t risk booking a long haul flight with stopovers… for me it is not worth it to get a cheaper flight if you are worried that something will go wrong on the other side of the world
• Don’t book the flight and complain online when you don’t get your refund or have to pay extra for bags, when it CLEARLY says that it is non-refundable or that you will have to pay extra for baggage… bit of common sense there
• Be aware that you are only seeing a teeny tiny percentage of those giving a real review of Kiwi online – because most people only bother writing when they are complaining. These complaints are no doubt, 100% real and very unfortunate. But as mentioned, they usually derive from the same issues which are cancelling, looking for refunds and running into issues with baggage
• OVERALL: I would take the risk of booking through Kiwi again if it was an absolute last resort option on a direct, short haul flight and only bringing hand luggage
This is not a paid post and honestly I don’t think I found a real POSITIVE review of Kiwi.com anywhere online that I actually believed, but this was mine. Need more tips on getting the most out of your trip? Read my 9 Major Travel Rules here which also has a lovely item for your Pinterest travel boards.