AirHelp is generally known for pursuing compensation for flight delays and cancellations from airlines in exchange for a percentage of the compensation. However, with AirHelp Plus, they offer a subscription for €50 per year that comes with various benefits:
- 100% of the compensation received from the airlines (up to €600, depending on the flight distance) if AirHelp successfully files the claim for you.
- Lounge access voucher if your flight is delayed by more than one hour.
- AirPayout Insurance: A flat €100 is paid to your account if your flight is delayed by more than three hours or cancelled within 7 days before departure. This is in addition to any compensation from the airline.
- AirLuggage Insurance: A flat €150 for lost or delayed luggage, completely independent of claims against the airline.
So, the €50 per year can be a good investment for frequent flyers.
AirHelp basically offers two tiers for the Plus subscription: Essential for €25 per year but without lounge access, and the insurance coverage is only for up to three trips. Complete, on the other hand, includes lounge access, AirPayout, and AirLuggage insurance for unlimited trips.
With the following coupon code, you can get a discount on the membership in the first year, exclusive for our Travel-Dealz readers:
AirHelp Plus Complete for €45.49 instead of €49.99 using the following coupon:
AirHelp Plus Essential for €22.74 instead of €24.99 using the following coupon:
The following things have changed since we last published this article:
- The AirPayout and AirLuggage insurance now compensates only once per trip, even if multiple flights are affected, e.g. the outbound and return flights.
- To receive compensation from the AirPayout insurance, you no longer need to fill out the questionable Google Docs form. AirHelp now monitors the flights you have entered, and if there is a delay/cancellation, it pays out the compensation. You will then receive an email, provide your bank details, and receive the €100 within 5 working days. However, if you are not informed, you still need to fill out a Google Docs form.
- Instead of only covering cancellations within 7 days before departure, the AirPayout insurance now covers cancellations within 28 days before departure.
- Additionally, compensation from the AirPayout insurance is now also provided for diverted flights.
100% Payout of Compensation
When your flight is delayed or cancelled, AirHelp will ensure you receive compensation according to EU air passenger rights. As a Plus member, you get 100% of the compensation without AirHelp taking a commission. If you subscribe to AirHelp without AirHelp Plus, you receive a maximum of 65% of the compensation. AirHelp charges a success fee of 35% if the airline pays without legal action, and 50% if AirHelp has to go to court.
However, AirHelp is generally quite expensive. There are significantly cheaper providers that charge a commission starting at 27% or at least buy your claim and pay you within a few days. Of course, you can also pursue the claim yourself without hiring a service. Providers like AirHelp are convenient and low-risk only when the airline rejects the claim.
Lounge Voucher for Delays or Cancellations
In the Complete tier, you receive a lounge pass if your flight is delayed by more than 1 hour or cancelled at least 6 hours before departure. You don’t have to use the voucher for the delayed flight; you can use it flexibly in 1,100 lounges worldwide within 90 days. The voucher is provided by LoungeKey for participating lounges worldwide.
AirPayout: €100 Payout for Delays or Cancellations
The membership pays off quickly, especially when your flight arrives at the destination at least 3 hours late or is cancelled within 7 days before departure. In such cases, the AirPayout insurance pays a flat €100. This is in addition to any compensation from the airline regardless of whether you have a claim. Moreover, it even applies to flights outside of Europe, such as within the USA, where passenger rights are limited compared to the EU.
You’re entitled to a maximum of 20 payouts of €100 each per membership year. However, the Essential membership only covers the first three trips per membership year, while Complete covers all trips.
While there are some exceptions in which the insurance doesn’t pay, these are quite limited. For instance, in cases of war or disruptions lasting more than 7 days, such as strikes or volcanic eruptions.
In addition, only one compensation of €100 will be paid per trip, even if it consists of multiple flights. If there is a delay on both the outbound and return flights, you will only receive €100 once.
To be eligible for the €100, the trip must be registered in the AirHelp dashboard at least 24 hours before the departure of the first flight. If your flight is delayed or cancelled according to the rules, AirHelp will notify you and ask for your bank details. Afterwards, you will receive the compensation within 5 working days. If you are not informed, you can file a complaint using this questionable Google Docs form. In case of a claim, you may also need to provide the booking code and the e-ticket.
One somewhat questionable aspect in terms of data protection and trustworthiness is that the claim is reported through a Google Docs form, and the insurance terms are not accessible before membership is purchased. AirHelp’s explanation for this is that the membership is being sold, and the insurance for AirHelp Plus members is “free” and not sold separately. However, we do have access to the terms. The insurer is Hamilton Insurance DAC from Ireland.
AirLuggage: €150 Payout for Delayed or Lost Luggage
You can receive even more money if an airline loses your luggage or it arrives late. In such cases, you receive a flat €150 per incident without having to prove any damage, and there are similarly few exceptions.
AirLuggage is also limited to a maximum of 20 payouts of €150 each per year. Even the unluckiest traveller is unlikely to reach this limit.
In essence, the €50 per year membership provides solid value, especially for frequent flyers, and can pay off quickly. We were initially sceptical of the offer and particularly concerned about the presentation of the landing page and the lack of insurance terms. However, the terms we have access to seem very fair. Nevertheless, AirHelp reserves the right to change the benefits of the AirHelp Plus service at any time, which leaves a bit of a sour taste.
Have you had any experience with AirHelp Plus and used the included insurance? Please share your experience in the comments section.
Cover Picture: Ditmar Lange