No matter how carefully you pack your suitcase, plan your transfers and plan your activities, things can and will you cheat when you travel. So whether it’s lost luggage, a frozen credit card, or a delayed flight, we’ve broken down exactly how to handle some of the most common travel mishaps.
Your flight is delayed/cancelled
In the unfortunate event that your flight is delayed/cancelled, the best thing to do is to contact the airline’s information desk to assess your options. And make sure you do it quickly because there’s an entire plane full of angry passengers right behind you! Each air carrier will have different policies and procedures and offer different compensation for delays and cancellations. These can range from meal vouchers and flight credits to free nights of accommodation. To find out exactly what you are entitled to, read our informative article on what to do when your flight is canceled.
The airline loses your luggage
So you’ve arrived at the baggage carousel and your bags are nowhere in sight… Do you a) break down and scream at the nearest member of staff, or b) stay calm and approach customer service… We vote for option B. Yes, losing your luggage sucks, but venting your anger at an innocent member of staff won’t get you anywhere. Simply contact the information desk and file a property irregularity report. Include as much information as possible about your suitcase, including the brand, color, size and any identifying marks such as stickers or stripes. The airline will provide you with a unique reference number which will be used to track your baggage. You can use this number to check the status of the bag once it has been located by the airline. The airline will also deliver your luggage to your hotel or resort at no extra cost.
If, unfortunately, the airline is unable to locate your luggage, you will be compensated up to $1,600 for domestic travel within Australia or $1,735 for international travel. If your luggage contains valuable items worth more than the liability limit, you can claim for these lost items through your travel insurance.
You get sick
Getting sick while traveling abroad can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you’re in a foreign country and don’t speak the language. If you become ill and need medical advice, it is best to contact your travel insurer. They can help you make an appointment with a nearby health professional who speaks English. If you need to go to the hospital, your insurer can provide the hospital with a payment guarantee so you don’t have to pay anything up front. They will also keep your family back home informed of your situation. Be sure to keep all receipts and doctor’s notes, as you will need them to prove your insurance claim.
Your passport disappears
Your passport is one of the most valuable items you will own and losing it abroad is a major inconvenience. If your passport has been lost or stolen, you should contact the nearest Australian embassy. You will need to prove your identity to the embassy using a birth certificate, driver’s license and other identification documents. It is therefore useful to have these elements photocopied before traveling. The embassy will issue you with an emergency passport, for $178, valid for 12 months. Turnaround times may vary depending on destination, but in most cases they can be issued within a few days. If you are unable to obtain a new passport before your next flight, you will need to delay or change your travel arrangements. Consult your travel insurer to check what compensation you are entitled to for your changed plans. If your passport has been stolen, you will need to file a police report to claim travel insurance.
Your credit card no longer works
Your credit card can be a lifeline when traveling abroad, but when this valuable source of cash is cut off, panic can quickly set in. If your bank has wrongly identified fraudulent activity on your credit card and cut off access to it, you should contact them immediately. to solve the problem. They should be able to unblock the account over the phone by asking a few security questions and confirming your identity. To avoid this situation completely, you should always inform your bank of any trips abroad. Additionally, it’s a good idea to carry multiple credit cards to access your funds.
In partnership with NIB Travel Insurance, Travel Online offers comprehensive travel insurance offering unlimited coverage for medical and dental expenses, evacuation and repatriation, and vacation cancellation and postponement. To view and offer our full range of travel insurance options, Click here.