Woman From Singapore Highlights Importance Of Travel Insurance After Prague Trip Marred By Mishaps
When planning a holiday, most people would make a checklist of items to purchase before jetting off.
Well, one woman from Singapore is urging others to add travel insurance and Apple AirTags to that list.
In a post on social media app Lemon8, user @withloveying recounted her disastrous trip to Europe, as well as some valuable lessons she learnt from the unpleasant experience.
Although she acknowledged that such precautions will cost more, it’ll be worth it if something unwanted actually does happen.
Flight to Prague delayed by frozen rain on airport runway
The OP began her story by saying that she was supposed to fly to Prague, Czech Republic, on 14 Dec last year.
In between was a six-hour layover in Munich, Germany, where everything pretty much started going terribly wrong.
Just as they boarded their flight, cold temperatures and wet weather led to frozen rain on the runway, presumably making it too slippery for planes to take off.
As a result, the “entire airport was shut down”.
Lufthansa, the airline the OP was travelling on, rebooked them for another flight the next day, which meant that they needed to stay in Munich for one night.
Things went relatively smoothly at first — Lufthansa offered the OP €150 (S$220) per night to cover her hotel accommodation and she was fortunate enough to book a room in time.
Sad to say, things would only go downhill from there.
More flight delays, missing luggage
The next day, the OP had to take a connecting flight to Prague through another city in Germany — Düsseldorf.
Alas, there was a 1.5-hour flight delay from Munich, causing the OP to miss the plane to Prague.
To make things worse, upon landing in Düsseldorf, the OP never received her luggage.
She tracked its location using the Apple AirTag that was inside and found out that it was still in Munich.
The Lufthansa help desk staff at Düsseldorf allegedly “wasn’t too helpful” as she seemed to be in a rush to go home even though there were around 20 passengers, including the OP, standing there.
In the end, staff at the Lufthansa check-in counter provided the stranded travellers with taxi and hotel vouchers.
They also offered to rebook the OP on a new flight to Prague — but there would be another layover in Munich or Frankfurt.
Of course, the OP, having had enough of transit flights and fearing another delay, didn’t want this and booked her own flight via Eurowings.
No luggage for 21 days in Prague
She finally reached Prague on 16 Dec, two days after she was originally supposed to get there.
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 could file an insurance claim and was reimbursed the maximum amount of S$800.
When she finally received her luggage on 8 Jan, she filed a baggage delay claim with another insurance company and received S$200.
While this clearly wasn’t a lot, Lufthansa compensated her for the new clothes and toiletries she purchased.
OP shares important travelling tips
However, the OP was unable to get back the most important thing — time.
She estimates that she lost about 44 to 45 hours due to the multiple delays and mishaps.
Hoping to help others, she doled out the following tips.
First, she advised travellers to snap pictures of their flight and baggage tickets before take-off.
This will help when it comes to filing their insurance claim, especially if the company asks them for the ticket number instead of the booking number.
If you’re unlucky enough to run into a flight delay, you should immediately take a screenshot showing the flight number, as well as the date and time.
“This will help with evidence as insurance will ask for it,” the OP explained.
Should you lose your luggage and need to buy new clothes and toiletries, snap pics of the receipt for every item that is claimable immediately after getting them.
You’ll be glad you did if you happen to lose the receipt or find that the ink has faded.
The OP also encouraged travellers to get Apple AirTags.
Though quite pricey — one pack costs S$45.40 on the Singapore online store — she said this enabled her to continuously track her luggage, giving her peace of mind.
Alternatively, non-iPhone users can opt for a variety of other Bluetooth trackers.
Last but not least, she reminded travellers to pack some clothes in their cabin luggage, especially underwear.
As for which insurance company to go for, the OP offered a couple of her own recommendations but stressed that no matter what, it’s important to “always read through what the various policies cover before purchasing” them.
It pays to be prepared
With all the excitement and anticipation that comes with travelling overseas, it can be easy to think that nothing bad will happen to you.
However, the OP’s story proves that this is certainly not the case, so it always pays to be prepared.
So if you’re planning a trip soon, don’t forget to buy some form of travel insurance and take other precautions to help you be ready for anything unpleasant that may come your way.
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