Some Australians who lose their luggage will never see it again, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost property and immeasurable disruption to holiday plans
(PRWEB) July 10, 2010
Tens of thousands of Australians have their travel plans disrupted by lost and delayed baggage each year, despite improvements in luggage handling by airlines and airports worldwide.
Australia’s number one online travel insurer Travel Insurance Direct (http://www.travelinsurancedirect.com.au) said luggage loss, damage and theft represented the biggest single category of travel insurance claims, accounting for around 40 per cent of total claims.
Travel Insurance Direct General Manager Ian Jackson said more than 25 million bags were mishandled last year in airports worldwide, of which about 3.4 per cent were never reunited with their owners. Mishandled luggage was 24 per cent lower than the previous year thanks to better handling systems, but still occurred at a rate of 68,000 bags per day worldwide.
“Some Australians who lose their luggage will never see it again, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost property and immeasurable disruption to holiday plans,” Mr Jackson said. “Even though the vast majority of misplaced bags are found and returned to their owners within 48 hours, that’s no consolation if you’re caught in the European winter without your coat and gloves.”
Mr Jackson said there were 10 simple precautions travellers could take to help ensure their luggage arrived intact:
- Tags – Ensure all items have clear, sturdy luggage tags that won’t tear off. Record your phone numbers for both home and destination. Some travellers prefer to list their office address to avoid suggesting their home is vacant.
- Itinerary – Place your contact details and itinerary inside your luggage, so you can still be located if external tags are lost and your luggage is opened for inspection.
- Lock up - Locks and straps provide a deterrent to theft, but remember some destinations like the US only allow TSA-approved locks that can be opened by customs inspectors.
- Stand out – A brightly coloured bag, luggage tag or strap reduces the risk of your luggage being mistakenly claimed by another passenger on arrival.
- Timing – Arrive at the airport with plenty of time for check-in. A last-minute check-in or tight connection increases the chance of your bags missing the flight.
- At check-in – Ensure all old destination stickers have been removed from your luggage and that staff affix the correct destination stickers at check-in. Be sure to keep your portion of the luggage sticker provided at check-in (usually affixed to your boarding pass).
- Connections – Don’t book tight connections. Ask at check-in whether your luggage is checked through to your final destination or whether you’ll need to collect your luggage and re-check while in transit at another airport (especially if you booked flight sectors separately).
- Carry on – For short journeys, consider travelling with carry-on luggage only. This is especially worthwhile with airlines that charge for checked luggage. Even if you check-in your main bags, place valuables and a few essentials items of clothing in your hand luggage, just in case.
- Pick-up – Ignore other distractions at the airport and go straight to the luggage carousel once you’ve arrived and cleared customs, keeping a close eye on bags as they emerge. Keep bags close to you and never leave them unattended.
- Travel insurance – Always have adequate travel insurance, even if travelling for short periods or domestically. Insurance covers not only loss and theft, but can also provide a clothing allowance if luggage is delayed. Keep receipts for your possessions where possible or consider making a photographic record of luggage contents, in case you need to make a claim.
Travel Insurance Direct is Australia’s number one online travel insurer and offers comprehensive travel insurance at highly competitive prices, particularly when compared with large travel agents. Popular TID products include overseas health insurance, holiday insurance, annual insurance, snow insurance and cruise travel insurance.
For more information and online quotes, see http://www.travelinsurancedirect.com.au
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