Missed Flight or Lost Luggage? Save this Post for your Travel Insurance Queries.
Travel is on the horizon again, and although things may not be back to normal yet, we’re another step closer. If your travels have been cancelled in the past year, then you know that travelling might not always go according to plan. And it’s not just flight and trip cancellations. Problems with missed flights and lost luggage have been in existence pre-COVID, and will continue to exist long after the pandemic is (hopefully) over. There isn’t a vaccine that can help you against these unexpected travel hiccups, but there is insurance.
A Missed Flight
If you miss your flight through no fault of your own, then your insurance, depending on your policy and provider, could pay for accommodation until your next available flight as well as any transport costs required. This relates to flights coming to Malta and not those departing the island. It also refers to missed flights that are caused by third parties, for example, if you missed a flight because it was a connection flight and your first flight was delayed, and not because you were late to the airport due to having overslept. Unfortunately, the latter isn’t covered and it is each passenger’s responsibility to make a flight on time. Other examples of when your missed flight is covered are if the taxi taking you to the airport has an accident or breaks down; bad weather that delays your train ride to the airport; or even an industrial strike that was not announced before you booked your flight and purchased your insurance policy.
Similarly, if your flight is delayed, your travel insurance could pay you for every 12 hours you are delayed and reimburse you for any unused and prepaid accommodation expenses.
If the flight was missed or cancelled due to the airline itself, the airline would normally offer alternative flight arrangements, meals and/or hotel accommodation at their expense.
What should I do in case of a missed flight?
The first thing you should do if you miss your flight is to get in touch with the airline to tell them that you have not managed to board, and why. If you are at the airport, get in touch with the airline desk to rebook your flight.
If you are travelling with checked luggage that has been on your previous flight, make sure to instruct the handling agent at the desk about your bags too. It is highly unlikely that airlines will fly your luggage without you onboard due to security reasons, but if that does happen they will be aware of the bags and will reroute them and have them stored safely.
If your airline does not offer alternative flight/transportation, and so you will need to notify your insurer and make a claim, make sure you have supporting documentation showing why your flight was missed and receipts of expenses incurred as a result.
Missed Flight Summary:
- Get in touch with an airline representative
- Check on your luggage
- Keep receipts of any expenses
- Ask for documentation showing why your flight was missed
One of the most anxiety-inducing moments at the airport is waiting for your checked-in luggage to pop out on the luggage carousel. If your luggage does not arrive, arrives damaged, or with items missing, there are several things you must keep in mind. In the case that your luggage does not arrive, you need to go to the baggage handling counter (sometimes labelled ‘lost luggage desk’) to report the luggage missing. There they will ask you for your flight details, baggage tags and a physical description of your luggage. They will provide you with a report and a tracking code, which you should keep handy.
If you want to claim back any necessary expenses for items that were needed while you were waiting for your luggage (only applicable if bags are delayed for more than 12 hours), keep any receipts of the purchases you made. In addition, ask your accommodation or airline for a confirmation stating when the luggage was returned to you.
In the case that your luggage is damaged to the extent that it is unusable as a result of airline baggage handling, or if items are damaged, make sure to take photos of the damage and file a Property Irregularity Report with the baggage handling desk, detailing the list of items that are damaged or missing. And don’t throw those damaged items away! Your insurer will need to see them as well as your boarding pass and baggage tags.
If there are missing items from your luggage, you will also need to file a police report. It’s important to obtain a written report from them within 24 hours of discovery.
Lost Luggage Summary:
- File a report with the lost luggage/airline baggage desk
- Keep any receipts for essential purchases
- Ask your airline for a luggage delivery confirmation
- Take photos of any damages
- File a property irregularity report (PIR) in case of any damages
- Keep your damaged items, boarding pass and baggage tags
- Obtain a police report within 24 hours in the case of missing items
Did you know that your travel insurance could also cover you for travel expenses if you need to abandon your trip in the case that you are called as a juror or witness, your vacation leave has been cancelled or even if something happens to your house that makes it unfit to live in? For peace of mind, ask about Laferla’s Travel Insurance Plans.