No matter how meticulously you pack your suitcase, plan your transfers and schedule activities, things can and will go wrong when you travel. So, whether it's a case of lost luggage, a frozen credit card or delayed flights, we've outlined exactly how to handle some of the most common travel mishaps.
In the unfortunate circumstance that your flight is delayed/cancelled the best thing to do is approach the airline information desk to assess your options. And be sure to do so quickly as an entire plane worth of angry passengers are right behind you! Each airline carrier will have different policies, procedures and provide different compensation for delays and cancellations. These can range anywhere from meal vouchers and flight credits to free nights' accommodation. To find out exactly what you're entitled to, read our informative article all about what to do when your flight is cancelled.
So, you've arrived at the baggage carousel and your bags are nowhere in sight… Do you a) have a meltdown and scream at the nearest staff member, or b) remain calm and approach the customer service desk… We vote option B. Yes, losing your luggage sucks, but taking your anger out on an innocent staff member won't get you anywhere. Simply approach the information desk and file a Property Irregularity Report. Include as much information about your suitcase as possible including the brand, colour, size and any identifying marks such as stickers, or scratches. The airline will provide you with a unique reference number that will be used to track your baggage. You can use this number to check on the status of the baggage once it has been located by the airline. The airline will also deliver your baggage to your hotel or resort at no extra cost.
If in the unfortunate circumstance that the airline cannot locate your luggage, you will be compensated up to $1600 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 these lost items through your travel insurance.
Falling sick while travelling abroad can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you're in a foreign country and don't speak the language. If you happen to fall sick and need medical advice, it is best to contact your travel insurance provider. They can help you make appointments with a nearby medical professional who speaks English. If you need to go to hospital, your insurance provider can provide the hospital with a payment guarantee, so you don't need to pay anything upfront. They will also keep your family back home informed of your situation. Be sure to keep hold of any receipts and doctor's notes as you will need these to prove your insurance claim.
Your passport is one of the most valuable items you'll ever own and losing it overseas is a major inconvenience. If your passport has been lost or stolen, you must contact the nearest Australian Embassy. You will need to prove your identity at the embassy using a birth certificate, drivers license and other forms of ID. So, it pays to have these items photocopied before you travel. The embassy will issue you an emergency passport, for $178 which will be valid for 12 months. Turnaround times can vary depending on the destination, but in most cases can be issued in a couple of days. If you can't get a new passport before your next flight, you will need to delay or change your travel arrangements. Consult your travel insurance provider to check what compensation you are entitled to for your altered plans. If your passport has been stolen, you will need to lodge a police report to claim travel insurance.
Your credit card can be a lifeline when travelling overseas, but when this valuable source of money is cut off, panic can quickly set in. If your bank has wrongfully identified fraudulent activity on your credit card and cut off access, you should contact them immediately to resolve the issue. They should be able to unfreeze 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 about any overseas travel. Additionally, it's a good idea to carry more than one credit card to access your funds.
In partnership with NIB Travel Insurance, Travel Online offers comprehensive travel insurance providing unlimited cover for medical and dental expenses, evacuation and repatriation, and cancellation and holiday deferment. To view and quote our full range of travel insurance options, click here.
Want to prevent any fails while you're away from home? Check out these expert tips on how to prepare and secure your home before leaving for your holiday.