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There are many things that can go wrong on a trip – especially one that spans numerous countries and involves trains, planes, automobiles and even Icelandic horses.
By far the most common travel trauma however, is lost luggage. With more fees and better tracking technology (and less people checking bags), it mystifies me that airlines still manage to lose suitcases, from time to time. Low and behold, even Team TPG is not immune to that predicament and TPG Managing Editor Eric found himself missing his luggage while flying on Air Berlin from Warsaw to Keflavik International Airport in Iceland this week via Berlin Tegel.
Eric’s itinerary included WAW-TXL-KEF, and although he made it there safely, sadly his bags did not. While his luggage has been thankfully located – and is apparently in Dusseldorf – he was informed that there will probably still be a few days delay between Eric’s arrival and that of his bags.
With just a hoodie and temperatures in Reykjavik falling by the minute, we thought through what Eric’s options might be since he needed to pick up a few items of clothing.
Credit Card Coverage
As I pointed out last week in a post about credit card trip coverage, many credit cards offer all kinds of protection from lost luggage to car rental insurance. So we called American Express since I had booked Eric’s ticket for 10,000 American AAdvantage miles on AirBerlin and paid the taxes and fees with my Premier Rewards Gold.
The Premier Rewards Gold card does have a good lost and delayed baggage policy, which states:
But he was out of luck there since this was an award ticket. Not only that, but only the primary cardholder, additional cardholders or his/her dependents (spouse or children up until age 23) are protected, even if the cardholder purchased the ticket for someone else at full fare.
When it comes to Chase cards such as the Sapphire Preferred, their policy states:
“If your checked bags are delayed for a period of 18 hours or more by a common carrier, you can be reimbursed for the emergency purchase of covered essential items. Carry-on or checked luggage is covered if lost or stolen when you purchase your common carrier ticket using your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.” So since this was booked with miles and the whole flight wasn’t charged onto the card, this wouldn’t apply.”
The Citi policy for cards such as the Citi ThankYou Preferred card states:
“Lost Luggage Coverage provides up to $3,000 in coverage for you and your dependents when you charge your entire air, bus or rail transportation fare with your Citi ThankYou Card prior to departure. This benefit covers permanently lost, stolen or damaged baggage or personal articles checked with an air, bus or rail transportation company. Rental vehicles, taxicabs, limousines, or government owned or operated public transportation systems operating within an exclusive metropolitan area are not included.” Again, since this ticket was booked with miles, it wouldn’t apply.
Lastly, looking at Barclaycard’s policy for cards such as the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard, the policy states:
“We will reimburse up to the Daily Benefit Amount of $100 per day for 3 days in the event of a Baggage Delay. This travel insurance plan is provided to Barclays Bank World Master- Card cardholders, automatically when the entire cost of a Common Carrier passenger fare(s) is charged to a World MasterCard account while the insurance is effective. It is not necessary for you to notify Barclays Bank, the administrator or the Company when tickets are purchased.” No dice here for an award ticket either.
Here’s the other key term: Coverage can be provided for lost, stolen or damaged carry-on or checked baggage. Coverage is in excess of the Common Carrier Conveyance liability.
So we had to check on Air Berlin’s policy.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one of the best travel credit cards on the market right now because you can use the miles to cover many expenses that traditional miles won’t cover. Plus, for a limited time the sign-up bonus is 50,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening – which equates to $525 when you use them for travel expenses.