I Used Kiwi.com (formerly SkyPicker.com) and it Wasn’t a Scam

Please also read the comments! Not everyone shares my experience! Better still, please search on Expedia as well!

Recently during my trip around the world I was faced with a number of flight routes which simply could not be booked on the site of the airline itself and other routes which were inexplicably cheaper through an agent. So like any cheaparse traveller, I booked my Avianca flight from Bogota to Cartagena with an online travel agent, Kiwi.com.

I’d never heard of them before, but they were listed as the cheapest option by 50% on SkyScanner. I didn’t even think twice about booking my flights through them.

And then I got a confirmation email from them and it was kind of odd. Just not as professional looking as I had expected. Also, the booking wasn’t made immediately. In other words, they had taken my credit card details and not yet booked my flight. Just a confirmation email saying they were going to do it later.

So I searched online and I found post after post about Kiwi.com being a scam. And I was scared. So I contacted their online support and demanded they send through my airline reference number. They refused. The guy on online support was hopeless and said that I would never get that booking reference number because I wasn’t allowed to checkin online.

Because I had no other options, I just waited. And then a couple of days later they sent an email with a confirmed airline booking reference number and I was actually able to use the official Avianca website to see my booking in the system.

Everything seemed OK. So when I arrived at the airport, I expected everything to be smooth as well. And it was.

So while Kiwi.com’s customer service leaves a lot to be desired and their English is poor, they aren’t a scam company. My only advice would be to make sure you fill in everything correctly during booking and that you make sure you don’t have any complicated requests such as name changes, date changes, odd transits, etc.

And if it’s a multi-leg journey with different airlines and one of the legs is cancelled, you are screwed. Mainly because it’s a non-protected transfer. But you already knew that, right?

Would I use them again? Definitely if the price was right. Have you had a good or bad experience with them? Let me know in the comments.

26 thoughts on “I Used Kiwi.com (formerly SkyPicker.com) and it Wasn’t a Scam

  1. A few hours after I purchased my ticket, I realized that I made an error in the reservation. I contacted Kiwi to see if they would be able to cancel or change the ticket since despite a confirmation email from Kiwi saying my purchase was confirmed, no tickets had actually been issued. After 2 days, Kiwi ignored my request to cancel the ticket before it was issued and had it issued anyway, then immediately sent me a response that since the ticket had been issued, I was subject to no cancellation rules from the airline.

    To make matters worse, what I hadn’t realized until this set of interactions with customer service was that Kiwi is simply an overcharging middle man service. It is never made explicitly clear anywhere on their site or in your purchase what the actual cost of the ticket is, what their service charges are or the fact that they are not even affiliated with the airline.

    When I looked at the actual ticket from the airline, it turns out, the actual price of the ticket was 50% LESS than what was charged, and to add insult to injury, I am supposed to deal directly with the airline for any changes (which will cost half the ticket price to make).

    Unless the prices you find otherwise are way more expensive, you are better off purchasing tickets directly from the airline.

    1. Yes even I & my husband was dissapointed about their bad service… it’s really worst service.. they just making money … I just received my confirmation after 12hours I spend so much money just to call them but only answering machine attending the calls.. we miss the flight because airline saying that they don’t accept transit passengers and they should be aware with that.. we tried to refund the money but nobody cooperate ..

  2. They are bunch of thiefs,, nothing else,i have purchased my ticket online and i could not travel,,,THEY ARE DIRTY THIEFS,,,STAY AWAY FROM THOSE THIEFS,,,

    1. very bad. when i bought the ticket they did not show need visa for country once i booked they flight i saw visas required for the next country. no one help you if you cancel not pay you back. so bad experience

  3. dont look at there 5 stars,,everything is fake ,THEY ARE DIRTY THIEFS WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND WILL LEAVE IN THE AIRPORT WITHOUT MONEY AND WITHOUT VACATION

  4. Kiwi is a fraudulent booking site. Payment was taken from me and then they started demanding more money AFTER I PAID. I booked two tickets and they refuse to cancel both of them. All they want is more money, more money sir. This “business” is a perfect example of a bait and switch SCAM WEBSITE. They leave me no option but to do a time consuming CHARGEBACK with my credit card to get my money back.

    1. After losing $450+ with Fareportal.com trying to attend a UNWTO annual conference in Armenia, I booked BKK – EVN with kiwi.com and LOST money AGAIN. BKK counter agent would not accept the tickets, claiming I needed a transit visa out of Russian Federation.

      With my USA Passport I qualified for 14 days VOA in Bahrain but the airlines would not even allow me to go that far, where I could have re-booked, found another route, or enjoyed 14 days of whatever. Asked online for my “guarantee” and all has been silent since. Lost $995 inside a week, and am still in the BKK airport writing this. webweb

  5. I had a bad experience with them on Friday. I found flights at a fare I liked and booked. I received an email saying my payment had been received and tickets would be with me within 60 mins. They weren’t. I contacted their customer services, and v.e.r.y…s.l.o.w.l.y (over 90 mins online chat!) the guy ‘found out’ the tickets hadn’t been issued because the fare had gone up by 50%! Obviously I no longer wanted the flights. I searched their site again and found an alternative advertised at almost the same fare and asked the guy to transfer the booking for me… He said I had to respond to an email he’d just sent me, declining a refund and asking for credit. I asked him whether I’d then be able to get a refund if *that* fare also went up by 50%. He didn’t know. I decided not to take the risk and asked for a refund. They tell me that the refund – of payment they took instantly for tickets they never issued! – will take 10 days to get back to me!
    I’m now in the odd position of having flights *back* from a country at the end of my hol (separate booking with another company) but no flights to get there at the start! I won’t be using kiwi.com/SkyPicker again.

  6. Published 3 seconds ago
    The Kiwi Guarantee is a Scam. Don’t trust this company. Unscrupulous.

    Had a two hour layover in Mexico City, due to slow moving customs and absent transport to the other terminal, I missed the next connection.

    Kiwi did not help me at all. They did not reimburse the flights i missed, nor did they buy me a new flight. I was left on my own.

    I had another flight a week later which was going to become obsolete due to this mishap. When I enquired about refunding this, $200 flight, I was told that they could get $30 back from the airline and after they took their $20 cancellation fee, that would leave me with $10.

    Can you imagine? After all that, losing $500 worth of flights, them not helping with that at all, they still want to charge me a $20 cancellation fee for another flight.

    Thieves. Nothing more.

    I spoke with customs in Mexico city, customs generally takes .5 – 2 hours. Checkin closes ~45mins before, and time between terminals is 20min. Therefore Kiwi should not be selling flights with only a 2 hour layover. To be safe, 3 should be the minimum.
    They didn’t update their policy or system as far as I am aware.

  7. I just booked a flight where they took my payment immediately and I got a receipt a couple of minutes later. Went out for lunch and returned 3hrs later to an email informing me that there had been issues with my booking because the fare had risen during the booking process and that my payment will be reimbursed within 10 working bank days. Put onto them by Skyscanner. 1st and last time I use kiwi, be aware cheapest is not the best. Cheating c#*nts.

  8. Pay extra book elsewhere
    Pros: Easy to reach customer service, quick response time, cheap tickets but not necessarily the best value.
    Cons: 1)We booked via Kiwi on a NokAir flight for which the basic baggage allowance was 2 checked baggage – 15 kg for 2 people. Kiwi sent us a confirmation of 1 baggage allowance for 2 passengers, so we either had to pay kiwi for the 2nd bag (which was already in our allowance) or send the bags separately (which was cheaper at £76.00 via local post office) 2) You cannot access your flight details on the airline website to amend yourself (you have to contact Kiwi and there will be a heavy price to pay: 106 EUR) or to check in online (via Kiwi which is thankfully free) but they forgot to send 1 boarding pass out of 3. We tried to contact them but were not replying at this point and our travel was the next day. Thankfully, we were able to confirm that we were still able to travel by calling the airline. 3) For a 14 hour flight, the allowance was only cabin bags, so we had to purchase checked bags separately for. We paid £522.00 for our flights, and £117.80 total for bags. If the price difference between kiwi and other agents is less than £100, my advise would be to go for the alternative. Other than the above 3 issues, I would consider using Kiwi again provided the price difference is over £100.00.

  9. I would avoid. .my flight registered but not my prepaid chechecked luggage..trying to get a refund is horrible..the site is so slow. I wish I would have gone with the normal companies. I can’t understand why kayak.Com would have a link to them. Better to avoid the headache. I won’t use them again.

  10. Beware, Beware, Beware – KIWI.COM – Never Again!

    In good faith we purchased flights from Sydney to Los Angeles with a connection in Auckland. Only after our purchase did we learn that we could not check-in online and would have to claim and re-check our baggage in Auckland – added risk and a hassle but seemed doable. The kicker was that ONLY AFTER claiming our baggage in Auckland did we learn that we had to go through New Zealand Immigration/Customs, even though only simply transiting the airport facility. The line was very long and very slow, taking 57 minutes to complete. Thus, the connection time that seemed OK was really condemned to failure from the start. The result was that check-in was “closed” for our subsequent flight when we arrived to check-in. KIWI.COM stuck us with the nearly $900 USD cost for booking subsequent flights at an upcharge rate.

  11. I’m cureebtly fighting with Kiwi.com over having our names incorrectly entered into the airlines reservation, even though it was entered correctly in the reservation with Kiwi. The airlines says it must be fixed through Kiwi, Kiwi says the tickets are useable as is.
    I also found a better flight on the airlines that we are flyin with, but there is no way to change flights (as you can when you book with an airlines). The difference changes an 18 hr flight to 11hrs.
    While the customer service is very responsive, trying to get anything done is like pulling. Eye teeth. Try updating your passport info and it requires online chat with a kiwi rep, an emailed photocopy if said passport, and threats of fees being charged to update or possible failures on the airlines’ part.
    In waiting for a confirmation from the airlines that I will be able to travel with my tickets, but I have a feeling that Kiwi would just leave me hanging and paying for the name error at the airport when trying to check in and clear customs.

  12. Booked with Kiwi to fly Yangon-Bangkok-Taipei (Air Asia and then Nok Scoot) a little over a week ago. Chose them solely on price. Receipt and e-ticket were issued promptly, so I wasn’t worried about where my money had gone. It all went well, but because we were required to transfer from Air Asia to Nok Scoot at Don Muang airport in Bangkok it became an exercise in extreme anxiety. Our two hours and fifty-five minutes at the airport, which I had foolishly believed would be sufficient, quickly evaporated as we waited and waited in long queues for immigration and then for check-in at Nok Scoot. We didn’t even want to go to Thailand! We eventually made it, with an hour to spare, but I won’t be putting myself in that position again. It’s just not worth it. Reading the comments above it looked like we gambled and won.

  13. I shopped for tickets on Kayak. Because it was a multi-city trip, Kayak sent me to kiwi.com. There I bought multi-city tickets for 2, when I received the confirmation it was for only one leg of the trip. I tried “talking” to kiwi.com via “live chat” (no phone number available). They pretended not to understand me, and finally when I asked for a refund they refused.

  14. I booked tickets through this company to Europe and back. On my return my Easy Jet flight was delayed in Munich for 2 hours while they fixed the captains seat belt. I ended up missing my connecting flight in London back to the US. On the Easy Jet flight I alerted them that I was missing my connection and they looked at me and shrugged their shoulders. When I arrived at London I went to the Easy Jet counter and they told me there was nothing they could do for me. I was given a piece of paper with a number to call for customer service and claims. At the same time the lady told me they were a point to point airlines and they werent responsible for my connecting flights I needed to allow 3 hours between connections. Even if there had been 3 hours I would have missed my connection, but still if thats the case then Kiwi who booked the entire package to me should know these policies between connections this is the job they do. I never even thought to check that they did there job right. Anyhow I was forced to spent another $3,000. on this day to get myself home. By the time you consider that $2,300. on new airline tickets. I needed to take a 1 1/2 hour bus ride to London Hethrow airport to catch a new plane back to Amsterdam, I had to get a hotel room for the night in Amsterdam before flying out the following morning. When I contacted Kiwi about it the said that London Gatwik airport only requires 2 hours between connections. I sent them a copy of the claim denial with Easy Jet who quoted some air traffic policy from 2008 that says that no reimbursement is required for connections less than 3 hours. I have heard nothing back now from Kiwi travel and I assume now 2 weeks later that I am s.o.l.. Heres the thing….I did nothing wrong. I was where I was advised to be at the suggested times. I had all my paperwork with me and how do they get away with stealing my money like that and not providing the service that they should? I suggest that under no circumstances anybody use this shadey company because there is no guarantee of anything but a spit in your face! Charles Franke

  15. Dont use KIWI.COM.

    I used this twice and wow both are disaster!!!!

    First booking. Dubai-HK-Manila. its a connecting flight. On the day of my flight. i found out that the connecting flight which is cebu pacificairline didnt have any checked-in baggage.

    Dubai-HK with 30kg
    HK-MNL – none

    W-T-F. right? How come they will arrange a flight like that!!! What do you want me to do with with luggage? Leave if in the first stop?. where you can find a passenger that will just need a luggage until the first stop?
    Ending? i paid more to buy for additional checked in luggage for my HK-MNL flight.

    2nd booking. my flight was last January 2017 from Manila-Kuwait-Dubai. On the day of my flight i was got held by the airport officer cuz they are asking for Kuwait Visa. And i am holding an UAE resident visa. Visa on my destination country.

    Why would they arrange a connecting flight if they already know that the airport officer will not allow us to depart. They are saying a lot of non-sense excuses. Ending? i booked a new ticket and applied for a refund. and after like a couple of weeks i received an email from them that i am not eligible for any refund! Great!.

    Dont use KIWI.COM!! They will rob you.

  16. I use Kiwi [skypicker] since say 5 years ago as an information source. It is probably the best site for combining flights for stingy people with a bit of flexible schedule. I would not use them to book on my behalf though, as
    1) they charge for it and so the tickets are slightly [2-4%] more expensive
    2) their is just a great algorithm, not a real AI… there are many variables (allowances, visas, discounts) a and so one should visit the flight’s provider site for the rules to see what the story is.

  17. Never ever reserve through kiwi.com. They literally live on any possible mistake on your end. Period.

  18. I booked a domestic US round – trip flight. Waiting 20 minutes for confirmation was a bit weird/nerve-wracking/annoying and you could tell that means fishy stuff goes on, but the tickets were legit. Flew to and from NYC with no problems. Both direct flights. So I’d say direct, domestic flights they’re a good bet (the roundtrip ticket was ~50 less than the cheapest competing sight, which is why I took it).

  19. I just booked a flight with wiki.com and received an email saying that my payment had been declined and I should call them before 12 hours to tell them some informations about my card. they will ask me the last 4 numbers, the name of my bank and in wich country it ha been emited. should I call and give them all these information ?
    they saythat if I dont call they are gonna cancel the reservation and I dont understand if they are gonna take the money anyway or not. thx for your help

  20. kiwi.com is asking for my passport info for an up coming international flight so that they could check me in online. is it safe giving them my info?

    1. That’s odd. I’m not sure why they would need to do that. Sometimes passport info is needed when booking a ticket, but not usually. I guess you could give it to them…

      1. yeah its odd! i called them and they said to prevent additional fee upon check in i should give them my info and let them check me in online. i tried checking in myself online through the airlines but i cant use the booking number that kiwi provided me.

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