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Lose your luggage but don’t lose your cool

The latest poll on lost luggage has many well known airlines with very poor records for looking after our holiday bags.  According to the Association of European Airlines, on average around 25 out of every 1000 bags gets delayed and 1 bag in 2000 will be lost permanently.  These are not good odds and none of us can safely say these days that it won’t happen to me and most of us will know of someone who has had this happen to them.  Losing a bag can be a distressing experience, made worse by the generally poor customer service at some airport’s lost luggage counters and, if it happens on the outward journey, what do you do?  Do you make do with the clothing you have in the hope that the luggage will arrive or buy replacements?  Tough decision to make and is all very stressful at a time when you should be enjoying your holiday?  There is no magic wand to wave here but you can help yourself by being adequately protected by having travel insurance cover in place before you go.

What travel insurance should provide in these circumstances is an allowance, usually based on each 24 hours the luggage is delayed, for you to buy essential replacement items, such as clothing and toiletries, for you to survive until your bags arrive.  There will be an upper limit to this daily allowance and your travel insurance company will be looking for receipts for these items to accompany any claim you make.  This still requires you to pay first and claim back later but at least it means you won’t be too much out of pocket.  Do remember to obtain what the airlines call a ‘Property Irregularity Report’ from the Lost Luggage Section at the airport at the time your bags go missing.  You will need to send this to your travel insurance company to substantiate your claim and they will also be looking for proof of when the bags were returned to you, so a signed and dated receipt will also be expected.  If you don’t have these, then it is very possible that the insurers will not pay your claim.  If your bags become ‘irretrievably’ lost, then the insurance company will need a letter from the airline confirming this and you will then be able to claim for all the lost items under the Lost Baggage Section of your policy.

But as the title suggests, remain calm and keep your cool in these situations, get the required paperwork, know what you can claim for and get on with your holiday.  After all, ‘worse things happen at sea’ as they say, but that I suppose not what you want to hear if you contemplating going on a cruise!

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