The Clever Travel Companion Updates

What do you do if your luggage is lost, delayed or damaged? October 02 2017, 0 Comments

If your luggage is delayed, goes missing or gets damaged on a flight, what sort of compensation are you entitled to? The Montreal Convention makes airlines responsible for the bags they allow you to check in, although their liability is limited to only around $1,500 per passenger.

Act immediately 

Airlines are more likely to accept responsibility for missing or damaged luggage if you report the problem straightaway. Before leaving the luggage reclaim hall, go to the airline desk.

Fill out a form

you’ll be given a copy of the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) that’s used by airline staff to record the details. While this isn’t a legal requirement, and there maybe a reason why it’s not possible to get one (an unmanned desk at a small airport, for example) you’re still entitled to claim. But without a PIR, the process is likely to be more of an uphill battle.

If the bag is damaged

If you want to claim compensation, write to the airline within seven days of receiving your luggage, enclosing a copy of the PIR.

If the bag is missing

As well as personal and flight details, you’ll need to give an accurate description of a missing bag, recording any distinguishing features. A good tip (for the highly organised) is to keep a photo of your luggage on your phone in case you ever need to make this sort of report. Photographic evidence can also help if you are reporting damaged luggage. 

Observe the deadlines

Write to the airline, enclosing the a copy of the PIR, within seven days of the flight. If your luggage turns up a day or two late, it’s up to the airline to make arrangements for getting it to you as efficiently as possible.

Monitor progress

where luggage doesn’t show up, you should be able to monitor it through the tracing procedure, either by contacting baggage services at the airport, the airline’s central department or by logging into an online baggage-tracing page with a reference number. This reference will relate to the luggage receipt usually attached to your passport or boarding card at check-in or bag-drop, so you’ll need to keep it to hand. If there’s no sign of it after three weeks, the bag will be declared lost.

Check the rules

If your bag has gone missing on the outward flight and you find you’re on holiday with no possessions, airlines are obliged to cover costs of “essential items”. However, this definition can be a sticking point when it comes to compensation. Depending on the attitude of the airline, it may argue that “essential items” are classified as toiletries, underwear or laundry costs rather than a brand new outfit. In most cases the airline will track down your bag quickly and return it to you within a couple of days.

Make a claim

Ask the airline what its policy is and keep receipts for anything you buy. A potential complication is when your bag has been transferred to another one or two airlines within a single journey. In this case it makes sense to claim from the last one flown, as it’s this airline which usually handles the claim.

Compensation usually comes in the form of an upfront cash payment, a fixed daily budget or remittance once your claim and receipts have been submitted. A claim for a delayed bag must be sent to the airline’s customer relations department within 21 days of handing your luggage to the airline. Depending on various factors such as how complicated your claim is, and the time of year, it may take as long as a couple of months to process.

To claim compensation for missing bag, you must write to the airline within seven days of the luggage being declared lost.

Check your insurance policy

However, you’re likely to find the airline tries to pass the buck by suggesting you take the issue of compensation up with your travel insurer. Depending on your policy, you may get a higher level of cover this way. Be sure to check your insurer’s excess charge and small print first - some policies provide minimal or no cover for luggage while in the care of an airline.

This article originally appeared in the telegraph.co.uk


Most helpful Travel Gadgets September 27 2017, 0 Comments

Clever Travel Gadgets

Naturally, many of us enjoy travelling except for all the inconvenience that can easily add up to weigh us down. Some try to go as light as possible while others carry all kinds of stuff just to make sure they don't be lacking anything.

Whether you're travelling for pleasure or leisure, it's possible to eliminate all those pet peeves that make you uncomfortable without jeopardizing the real thing.

By selecting the right gadgets and equipment, you can make your journey a whole lot easier and less stressful. Who knows; it could make the difference between having an exciting travel experience and a frustrating one.

So besides your mobile phone, here are seven of the most common helpful travel gadgets you must never leave behind. Even if you forget other things, make sure you have these ones on your packing list.


USB Flash Drive

This is very important especially when going on business trips. Certain emergencies can easily pop up where you may need to share a document or your passport with someone. Even if you don't have hard copies with you, you can always print them from your flash drive.

You will find USB flash drives more useful if your holiday will involve a lot of paperwork. Instead of stuffing your luggage with a lot of papers, you can just save the documents you need on your flash and print them later when you get to your destination.


Phone and Car Charger

Packing a portable rechargeable USB phone charger (or power bank) and a car charger can make your holiday a whole lot easier. There is no better feeling than that of knowing you can boost your phone whenever the battery goes low, even while you are in the coffee shop.

An auto charger can help you accomplish a lot of things especially when travelling on the road. You can charge your stuffs, play music for the kids while driving, or map your route with your own device.


Tablet

Carrying tablets along may appear unnecessary considering the fact you also have your smartphone with you. However, having one makes it possible to travel without your favourite newspapers and magazines. Instead of buying one newspaper upon another, you can download everything you need on your tablet. You can also play your favourite casino or slots. Start by checking out this gday casino review online.


Worldwide Adapter

An adapter can come in handy in a lot of situations.

Instead of buying a new adapter every time you travel to a new place, you can get yourself an all-in-one worldwide adapter and save yourself a lot of money.


External hard drive

It’s always good to be prepared for the worse especially when going on a big business trip. Backing up your files and photos in a hard drive can be really helpful. Who knows, you laptop may get damaged by water or something else. Don't worry; it happens to most of us. Though we don't pray for such things to happen, it's always good to be prepared.

You may also consider creating a backup on Google drive if you have a strong WIFI connection.


Headphones

Although every item on this list is essential, some are more important than others. A good example is the headphones.

You should never think of getting on the road, water, railway, or on air without packing one. It will shield you from all the noise coming from both people nearby and the plane.

Mobile Wi-Fi

Carrying your own mobile Wi-Fi can save you a lot of money while travelling.

Instead of paying for expensive hotel connection charges, you can pack you own Wi-Fi device so that both you and your kids can use the internet from several devices.

 


Safety Tips for Young Solo Travelers August 31 2017, 0 Comments

This article originally appeared in the Independent SA.

As the popular saying goes: "In the School of Life, travel is the best teacher". 

Some of the world's more seasoned travelers have also said that the best way to challenge yourself and see the world while you're at it; travel solo. While all of this sounds great on paper, practically, it may not work out this way. 

The world can be a very dangerous place, especially if you're in another country, know no one there, cannot speak the language and find yourself in an emergency, this can be a harrowing experience. This is why every traveler must take the necessary precautions and prepare properly. 

Youth oriented travel agency "Contiki" specialises in curating experiences across various parts of the world. According to Kelly Jackson, general manager for Contiki, a lot goes into ensuring that the trips are safe even for young people that come alone, but want the experience. 

"The safety of our guests is always comes first. Being part of The Travel Corporation family of brands, and being a family-owned business, means that we operate with a ‘family first’ mentality. Just as you would go above and beyond for your nearest and dearest, doing anything to ensure their safety and happiness, that’s how we feel about our travellers.

"Sometimes incidents that occur that cannot be planned for. In 2016, the Calais ferry strikes meant that hundreds of Contiki travellers were unable to get either to Paris, or back to London. Yet whilst other companies left their travellers stranded, we don’t work like that" Jackson said. 

For young solo travellers, Jackson had the following tips: 

  • Always let your friends or family know your trip plans. At Contiki we provide our travellers with a duplicate list of hotels for this reason. Parents and friends can contact the hotels at any time to stay in touch.
  • There are Pickpockets everywhere. Pick pocketing and theft happen in every country around the world so just be sensible about this. People are naturally security conscious so don’t let this habit lapse when you’re travelling. Keep locks on your luggage and don’t carry too much cash on you (or your passport) when you’re out sightseeing.
  • Know how to contact local authorities in case of an emergency, and have the means at your disposal to contact them. Get yourself a local SIM card and stay in touch.

 

Jessica Clarke  brand manager of Busabout, an alternative travel company said it is important to keep alert when traveling. 

“Never let your usual sensibilities desert you. Keep your guard up in public places, be aware of pick pockets, know how to contact the Embassy, let family have a copy of your itinerary and be contactable – even if it’s only on Facebook,” Clarke said. 

Here's to your next solo trip. And always remember: SAFETY FIRST.