Please share your travel insurance stories where it says Leave a Reply below or on the Contact page. Your stories can be good or bad, positive or negative, but they should be relevant. Not being reimbursed for your lost tube of toothpaste is cute but not what we’re looking for. Not flying home first class because you broke your finger is not of interest. If we want to impact the way the travel insurance companies do business, then we need to stay the course with relevant stories.
I look forward to reading what others have been through. I know that my experiences were unique and a stretch of the imagination, but I also know that there are many stories out there that have been just as mind-boggling. So let’s hear them!
One thought on “Tell Me Your Story”
In May and June 2012 Carol and I traveled via Paris to Sardinia and Corsica. After an exquisite 3 weeks we spent a night in St. Germain prior to catching an Air Canada flight to Toronto and Vancouver (US Customs) and on to Portland on an Alaskan Air flight. We planned to take the RER, one of the Paris regional rail lines, to the Charles de Gaulle Airport. After entering the St. Michelle metro, the RER was halted when someone committed suicide by jumping in front of a train.
Suddenly thousands of commuters were rushing toward us to find alternative transportation. In the chaos, Carol and I became separated. For some reason she had our tickets and passports, and all of our cash. She made her way to CDG and I struggled to find a cashless way to join her. After an hour of frantic effort I returned to the Hotel Napoleon where the kind proprietor gave me a bus ticket and instructions to Air Canada office at the Place Opera. The airline staff called the CDG desk, discovered that my wife was already there but had missed the flight, obviously. They gave me, loaned actually, the cost of the express bus from Opera to CDG. Once reunited we learned that even suicide was not an acceptable reason for missing our flight, and charged us $250 each to change to flights via Montreal, arriving late to Vancouver. After a night of fitful sleep in the airport we had to pass through customs, check our bags as if for a new flight and pay a $25 fee each. We did arrive home a day later than expected, but relieved to have the ordeal over.
Carol is very skilled at negotiating but could not budge Air Canada to refund the charges. After an exchange of several letters, including a clipping from one of the Paris journaux, and increasingly angry, a VP for Air Canada told us in unambiguous terms that there would be no more communication on this matter.
Carol turned to our insurance carrier, TravelSafe. After requiring only minimal evidence, they reimbursed us for the $500 change fees, the baggage fees and, to our amazement, the bank and exchange fees from our Visa statement.
We will no longer travel Air Canada, even though they are in the same alliance with Alaska. And we always purchase travel insurance for each of our excursions which have included additional European travel, to major excursions to Argentina and other South American countries, several Asian destinations, and a long visit to Australia at the time of the Queensland eclipse.
I have ordered your book and look forward to getting more details about your experience. I have to say, as an aside, that Asian and Turkish latrines do not bother me, though Carol really sees it quite differently. I spent a good deal of time in France in the sixties, a time when France was still rebuilding after the War. It was then that I recognized that the mostly American obsession with bathroom design and comfort, puzzlement at the presence of the bidet (also universal in Argentina, populated largely by Italian immigrants in the 19th Century, and need for hyper-cleanliness was atypical and an obstacle to adventure. I am not speaking of your views here, but my own.
Barry Kast, at home in Portland planning the next trip, inspired by you and Joanne,