Flight delays and lost luggage in Europe, S'porean advises to buy insurance – and air tags, Latest Travel News - The New Paper

Flight delays and lost luggage in Europe, S'porean advises to buy insurance – and air tags

Travelling to another continent? Add travel insurance and Apple AirTags to your list of must-buys before you get on that flight. 

At least that’s the advice of one woman from Singapore who took to Lemon8 recently to detail her nightmarish trip to Europe last year – and some of the valuable lessons she learnt along the way.

User @withloveying was on a flight to Prague on Dec 14, which included a six-hour layover in Munich.

Inclement weather, however, led to an airport shut down, and  Lufthansa, the airline Ying was travelling on, rebooked the passengers for a flight the next day, which meant they needed to spend a night in Munich.

She was provided $220 for her hotel accommodation, so no big issues there.

Her flight the next day had a stopover in Dusseldorf, but because of a 1.5-hour flight delay in Munich, she found herself stranded in Dusseldorf after missing the flight to Prague. 

To make things worse, her luggage didn’t arrive with her.

She tracked its location using the Apple AirTag and found it was still in Munich.

A help desk staff at Düsseldorf apparently “wasn’t too helpful” as she seemed to be in a rush to go home even though there were around 20 passengers awaiting assistance.

In the end, staff provided the stranded travellers with taxi and hotel vouchers. They also offered to rebook Ying on a new flight to Prague – but with another layover in Munich or Frankfurt.

Having had enough of transit flights, Ying opted to book her own flight via Eurowings instead.

She finally reached Prague on Dec 16, two days after schedule. 

There was still a problem, though – she still didn’t have her luggage.

For 21 days, she had to live out of two cabin bags that were “mostly empty with no clothes”.

Fortunately, she filed an insurance claim and was reimbursed the maximum amount of $800.

When she finally received her luggage on Jan 8, she filed a baggage delay claim with another insurance company and received $200.

Lufthansa also compensated her for the new clothes and toiletries she purchased.

Still, said Ying, she couldn’t get reimbursed for the most important thing – time. She estimates that she lost about 44-45 hours due to the multiple delays and mishaps.

In light of her experience, she offered up the following tips to travellers: 

  • Snap pictures of your flight and baggage tickets before take-off. This will help when filing your insurance claim, especially if the company asks for the ticket number instead of the booking number.
  • If your luggage gets delayed, snap pics of the receipt for every item that is claimable. You’ll be glad you did if you happen to lose the receipt or find that the ink has faded.
  • Get Apple AirTags. A pack costs a pricey $45.40 on the Singapore online store, but Ying could continuously track her luggage, which gave her peace of mind.
  • Finally, pack some clothes in your cabin luggage, especially underwear.
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