AirHelp Can Pay You During Flight Problems — Automatically — but With a Catch AirHelp Can Pay You During Flight Problems — Automatically — but With a Catch

AirHelp Can Pay You During Flight Problems — Automatically — but With a Catch

Earn Bonus Points

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

AirHelp is a platform that helps passengers get compensation for canceled or delayed flights, but it comes at a price. The price is either an annual membership fee or a commission taken out of your compensation claim settlement. Here's a review of the platform and whether it's worth using AirHelp for flight compensation.

What is AirHelp?

AirHelp Benefits

AirHelp is an online platform that claims to help you get compensation for a flight that's been canceled or delayed. The AirHelp website states that claiming by yourself has several negatives: “risky, lots of paperwork, stressful, time-consuming, and dealing with unresponsive airlines.” However, you'll still need to provide this same information to AirHelp during the claims process.

Most airlines have an online portal to claim compensation for a delayed or canceled flight. In truth, it's not that stressful and doesn't take very long to fill in an online form, there's very little paperwork, and getting required compensation for delayed or canceled flights works correctly more often than not. On the extremely rare occasion that the case would be taken to court, AirHelp would deal with that (for an additional chunk of the compensation).

AirHelp also claims that it is available in every country. However, unlike in Europe, there is no law in the U.S. that requires airlines to give compensation for late or delayed flights, and there are several reviews of AirHelp that point this out.

Related: Claiming Compensation for a Delayed, Overbooked, or Cancelled Flight

Getting Compensation with AirHelp

AirHelp Tiers and pricing

There are two ways to get compensation with AirHelp. The first is on an individual basis. Members can claim for a single delayed or canceled flight and get up to 65% of the compensation. AirHelp would keep the remaining part. In the extremely rare event that the case goes to court, AirHelp will take an additional 15%, for a total of half the compensation. If the airline doesn't pay out, then you won't get anything. Even the graphic on the AirHelp homepage says the €600 compensation (~$658.47) you get is only an example, as that is the maximum you would get…before their commission is removed.

AirHelp Compensation graphic example

Another option is to use AirHelp Plus. This is a subscription service with two tiers. The first tier, Essential, costs €24.99 per year (~$27.43), per passenger, and the second tier, Complete, costs €49.99 per year (~$54.86). The Essential plan is good for three flights a year, while the Complete plan covers all flights. Neither plan takes a commission from your compensation. The plans also come with a €100 payout (~$109.75) on top of any commission for delayed, canceled, or diverted flights. The Complete plan includes airport lounge access while waiting for your delayed flight, wherein you'll receive a lounge pass that can be used at over 1,100 lounges worldwide.

AirHelp AirPayout Insurance description of 100 euro benefit for flight compensation

Should You Use AirHelp?

There are a few points to consider before choosing to use AirHelp for flight compensation.

AirHelp commissions

AirHelp takes a significant commission from a procedure that is inherently free. The 35% commission essentially means you'd paying AirHelp €210 to get your €600 compensation. If you subscribe to AirHelp Plus, you're paying €25 or €50 a year per person for a service you may never need — but that's how insurance works. You pay for a service when you don't need it, in order to have it when you do.

I've taken scores of flights in the past several years and not one of them would have given me compensation for a delayed or canceled flight. Perhaps I'm just lucky, but I've only had one flight delayed for more than the required time to get compensation in the E.U. Further, the delay was due to weather, which made it ineligible for compensation.

Compensation paperwork

Is it more hassle to go directly to the airline than to use AirHelp? The AirHelp website claims that completing the whole process by yourself is “stressful,” yet you have to submit the same paperwork to AirHelp as you would submit to the airline directly. So the question really becomes what help AirHelp is providing. AirHelp's assistance in this area will be useful when the claims process is complex, the airline is saying your documents aren't sufficient, or otherwise dragging its feet.

Getting similar benefits with credit cards

While there are passenger rights laws in Europe and certain passenger rights offered by airlines in the U.S., these payouts may not cover all expenses you encounter during a delay or when rebooking after a canceled flight. You may have extra childcare costs, need a hotel room, and then there are meals and buying clean underwear to change into. If the airline doesn't cover your costs, paying for your trip with the right credit card can make a big difference. Consult the following resources:

We've also included insurance perks for these situations in our list of credit card benefits every traveler should know about.

AirHelp availability

AirHelp claims it's available to use in every country. However, the U.S. government has no regulation for airlines to provide compensation to passengers for delayed or canceled flights. Flights between the E.U. and the U.S. could provide compensation (depending on which airline you're flying), but domestic U.S. flights are only covered if they're a continuation of a flight you began in Europe. The U.S. is part of the Montreal Convention, but that only applies to international flights, not domestic, and only covers damage or injury resulting from a delayed or canceled flight.

Each country has its own rules and regulations, and airlines also have their own policies. It doesn't take long to research on your own to find what compensation you are entitled to, and then only a few minutes more to make the application.

When to use AirHelp

I see two circumstances where AirHelp could be useful. The first would be someone who didn't really care about getting compensation for a missed or delayed flight. As such, they would be fine with any compensation instead of claiming the full amount. The second type of passenger would be one who really didn't want to deal with any kind of research to get their compensation. However, they would still need to provide AirHelp with all the details they would have had to give the airline directly.

In the end, you might not have a choice to use AirHelp. AirHelp is now the official partner of If you book a flight with Expedia and your flight gets canceled or delayed, Expedia will direct you to claim your compensation with AirHelp, rather than the airline.

RyanAir in Europe seems to be carrying the baton well in this matter. On its website, it clearly encourages customers to avoid “claims chasers” that take large cuts from compensation payouts, applying with the airline directly instead. The airline says it processes claims within 10 days of receipt, and the form has only a handful of questions (flight information, money lost, and payment details).

Even in the EU, EU Regulation EC 261 gives passengers up to €600 in compensation. But that's only for an international flight of over 3,500 km (2,175 miles). Short flights under 1,500 km (932 miles) only get €250 (~$274.42) in compensation. Of course, AirHelp still claims 35% of that compensation.

You also have the option of receiving compensation for delayed or canceled flights with travel insurance. This is the best option in countries that don't mandate compensation for passengers with delayed or canceled flights. Here are the best cards for free travel insurance.

Our Take

In the end, using or not using AirHelp for flight delay/cancelation compensation is a personal decision. Again, claiming compensation directly from the airline is free and should be a relatively simple process. If you want to use AirHelp or one of the many other claims management companies, you're free to do so. We even mentioned AirHelp as an option in our guide for claiming compensation for a delayed, overbooked, or canceled flight. Refer to that guide for complete details on what kind of delayed or canceled flights merit compensation.

Have you used AirHelp? What was your experience?

5 / 5 - (5 votes)
AwardWallet Tip of The Day
Did you know that AwardWallet doesn’t solely focus on travel-related loyalty programs? We support many retail loyalty programs including grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and more. You can browse the full list of the programs that AwardWallet supports.
Show me how

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *