ABI Advises Air Travelers on Lost Luggage, Packing, Flight Delays

August 24, 2006

The Association of British Insures has issued some timely advice to air travelers, following the latest disruption in air travel due to terrorist threats. The unmasking of a plot to blow up airliners flying from the U.K. to the U.S. caused massive delays at London airports, notably Heathrow, the busiest in Europe, and resulted in thousands of pieces of luggage being lost.

Here’s what the ABI advises travelers to do “if your bag is lost, damaged or your property is missing:
— Report this while you are still at the airport to your airline. They will ask you to complete a “Property Irregularity Report.”
— To claim on your home contents or travel insurance policy you must also report this to the police and obtain a crime reference number.
— Report any loss to your insurer as soon as possible, most insurers will have a 24-hour hotline number.

When planning a trip, the ABI advised travelers to take the following precautions:
— If you are planning to take valuables that you are going to check into the aircraft hold then try to ensure you have any receipts, warranties or even take a photo to support your claim. Some travel insurance and home contents policies may not cover valuables that are not in your procession.
— Check your travel and home contents insurance for what level of cover you may have for items placed in your suitcase.
— Think about what valuables you really need to take with you – leave anything else at home.
— Photograph your suitcase once packed
— Try to ensure that you have any receipts for valuable items
— Take a note of your insurers hotline number.

The ABI also offers the following advice if a flight is delayed or cancelled:
— If your journey is delayed due to a terrorist alert contact your tour operator or airline, which will be able to advise and inform you of any arrangements they are making.
— Under the Montreal Convention compensation from the airline may be payable for lost or damage baggage and delay or cancellation of flights.
— If you have travel insurance check the terms and conditions of your policy or contact your insurer. Some travel insurance policies may cover cancellation, missed departure or delays.

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