The Clever Travel Companion Updates

How to avoid a pickpocket November 17 2017, 0 Comments

The below video comes from a Chinese public service announcement to help members of the public identify and avoid pickpockets. As China has grown and more and more of the population join the ranks of the middle class, cities become more cramped, valuables become more available and more popular, as a result a number of cities have suffered from increased numbers of pickpockets and related crimes. 

The video is a great resource for any safety conscious travelers, especially those who might be considering China as a destination! It also demonstrates the number of ingenious and well developed methods pickpockets will use not only to get their hands on your valuables but to do so without ever being seen. That said, none of the victims in the below vid had access to Clever Travel Companion clothing, so they're already at a disadvantage! 


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

Tourist catches pickpocket, gives thief some money for petrol! July 31 2017, 0 Comments

A not so Clever Traveler who had her pocket picked in Bali then made the surprising choice to treat the thief with kindness — even giving her some money to buy petrol — is winning kudos after the undated video of the act went viral, with nearly 30,000 views since it was shared on YouTube in the first week.

The video opens with people crowding around a young woman—the purported thief—who is stopped on the side of the road next to her motorbike (which has a Bali area plate), her helmet is still even on. Given the starting point of the footage, it’s not clear how exactly the girl made off with the wallet and just how she was apprehended on the side of the road but it seems the theft was successful, until the thief was caught.

The video continues with a local man thumbing through the girl’s wallet, looking for her identity card and then hands it to a foreigner—purported victim—who takes a picture of it.

Pause for a brief moment while the guy capturing the video on his phone turns the camera on himself for a little selfie action.

When questioned, the wallet snatcher claims she stole from the tourist because she needed money to buy gasoline.

The tourist’s response to this was definitely not how most would react. Instead of hauling the girl off to the police station to file a report or showing any aggression whatsoever, the woman told the girl “not to do this ever again” and let this be a “lesson.” 

They hugged it out, embracing. Then the tourist gave the girl back some of the money that had been stolen, saying to use it for gas.

“Okay, done,” the tourist said, urging everyone to break it up and get out of there. The video concludes with the girl speeding off on her motorbike.

Hope that’s a lesson she’ll never forget! We’ve got to wonder though how the outcome may have been different if the thief were male or the victim less understanding. When thieves are caught in Bali, it’s not uncommon for a mob to form, and deliver their own response of violent street justice. 

We can only imagine the video text and comments are questioning why the tourist wasn't wearing Clever travel Companion gear or recommending to others that she should have been to avoid the situation altogether :).