In September, we introduced the AirHelp Plus service to you for the first time on Travel-Dealz. With a subscription of €50 per year, travellers receive compensation of €100 for cancelled or delayed flights (from 3 hours) and €150 for delayed luggage, among other benefits. This is in addition to any claims under passenger rights.
This is highly lucrative for frequent flyers. We tried the service ourselves and walked away with over €250 in “profit” within 3 months. Too good to be true? Possibly, and that’s why, despite my otherwise positive experiences, I wrote in December:
In summary, I can currently recommend AirHelp Plus. However, I do not expect the offer to remain in its current form for long.
This has now happened, and AirHelp has adjusted the inclusive services. With the Complete subscription, there is now only entitlement to the “insurance” AirPayout and AirLuggage for 7 trips per year. Yesterday, it was stated that the change also applies to existing customers. However, today there’s a turnaround: For existing customers, everything remains the same (for now), provided the subscription was signed up for before January 12, 2024.
Limit reached? Error message after adding a flight
After receiving comments in our comments section, I tried to add a flight to the dashboard myself since yesterday. The flight was recorded, but with a message that AirPayout was not applicable.
Customer support communicated yesterday via chat:
Please note that your flight has been registered, but there are no more AirPayout credits available. […]
The regulation has been adjusted for all passengers with AirHelp Plus, including all members, due to increasing fraud to 7 AirPayouts per subscription. […]
Our website was recently updated to reflect new rules applied. According to our terms and conditions, we can adjust membership values and services.AirHelp support on January 15, 2024
There has been no communication with existing customers so far, and even in the terms of AirHelp Plus, there is no mention of a limitation to 7 cases per year.
Reversal: No change for existing customers after all
After yesterday’s experience, we immediately contacted a representative at AirHelp. In our view, the clause in the terms and conditions allowing for adjustments to the services at any time is hardly legal.
Today, AirHelp surprisingly announced that the change of the terms only affects new customers who subscribed to the Complete package after January 12. For existing customers, everything stays the same:
The changes were introduced due to several fraudulent activities and were intended to apply only to newly acquired AirHelp Plus Complete memberships. Your account was most likely affected by an error.AirHelp support on January 16, 2024
I still have the problem that the AirPayout insurance is not applied when adding new flights. According to support (and the email above), this is a bug that will hopefully be fixed soon. They mentioned 1 – 2 days.
The reasoning that the restriction is due to increasing abuse is, in my opinion, questionable. It is clear that the chance of a payout increases with more insured trips. However, a booking proof is required before each payout anyway.
For frequent flyers, the AirHelp Plus packages were very advantageous, and the annual subscription paid off with the first incident within 12 months. As suspected, the model did not last very long. At least it’s good that existing customer contracts are being honoured – let’s see how long.
In principle, the subscription can still be worthwhile even with the new restriction. In that case, it would be advisable to only register flights that are particularly prone to disruptions. Whether the annual fee of €50 (minus a 5% discount) pays off or not will then become quite a gamble.
Translated by Ditmar
Cover Picture: CC0-License / Pixabay-User geraldfriedrich2