August 9, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Confusion at airports | Baggage bingo losers can claim

Personal Finance |  Quebeckers stand out especially for their low financial anxiety

There is always a certain excitement when we fly on vacation. But this summer, a nice big dose of worry has been added as mountains of these suitcases get lost in delayed, canceled flights and airports. However, travelers who reach their destination without their luggage can console themselves by claiming up to $1,000 from their credit card issuer.

Posted at 5:00 am

By receiving a new MasterCard, Visa or Amex, we no longer need to read the accompanying Certificate of Insurance. One of the good reasons these days is obvious: knowing the compensation provided when the trip doesn’t go well.

Insurance offered by credit cards can cover canceled or interrupted trips, theft of personal effects from a hotel room, lost luggage by the airline, or “just” delays. I put this term in quotation marks because it is not as dramatic as the case of passports that were never obtained. But it is not fun, time consuming and expensive.

The least we can do is get the compensation we deserve.

Because there is paperwork to declare baggage late. And all the time when it is not a dress to attend a wedding or a stroller, lost to buy some clothes and toilet.

Blondin Boyce can attest to this. And this, despite the fact that she never managed to catch the plane that was supposed to bring her to France. She is looking forward to introducing her family to her two children for the first time. His story is shocking.

On June 21, while queuing through security at Montreal-Trudeau with her husband and 3-month-old and 2-year-old daughters, she discovered that Air Canada had mistakenly checked them into a flight to Nice instead of Lyon, as they expected. . Another bad surprise: this flight to Nice is already in the sky!

After almost midnight and no employee who could come up with a plan B, the family returned home and searched for suitcases to sleep. Air Canada claims that baggage cannot leave the airport without them. But they disappeared. The journey home was without a car seat, baby in her arms.

A week later, four suitcases, a stroller and a car seat were still missing. As of today, the account is not complete. “It feels like playing bingo for lost luggage […]It is heartbreaking to lose my daughter’s favorite toy,” said Boise, Montreal, Nice and Lyon airports were contacted. This led to the discovery that his stroller had made “a few transatlantic trips” for some obscure reason.


Blandine Bois is scheduled to fly to France at the end of June to introduce her children to her family and attend her husband’s wedding.

“Essentially, we bought a stroller and a car seat and two or three other things that girls usually use like cups and a toilet,” said Air. Said the mother who did not receive money from Canada. “We were never told about compensation for the delay,” she said. Unaware of this possibility, the couple did not complain to their credit card issuers.

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Typically, the cards offer $500 or $1,000 per person when luggage is delayed more than four or six hours. The amount is not paid automatically. Instead, reimbursement of purchases is provided upon presentation of invoices for “essential” products.

Be sure to read the list of items not covered before you shop. For cards issued by a national bank, for example, cosmetics, glasses, electronic tablets and photographic equipment are not covered. Desjardins stated that only “toiletries and clothing” would be reimbursed. According to the Scotiabank Visa Infinite card contract, charges must be paid “no later than 96 hours after the time of arrival at the destination”.

Fortunately, all deals are available online. They also indicate the procedure to be followed to claim one’s dues.

You must first declare the delayed baggage to your airline and complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) before contacting your credit card issuer using the number on the back of the card. We can make our purchases and after the holidays, we send out invoices, explained Michelle Jobin, senior director of sales to individuals, direct distribution channels at Desjardins. To avoid disputes and disappointments, it’s a good idea to stick to reasonable purchases (sunscreen, makeup remover, toothpaste, affordable clothing).

The concept of essential products is subjective, but Louboutin shoes will deny you, Mme Jobin smiled.

Strangely enough, Desjardins and National Bank have not noticed an increase in claims, even though we see tons of lone luggage at airports. Is it because of ignorance?

On the other hand, customers are more likely to call these two financial institutions to get information on their travel insurance coverage before departure. We can see wisdom there, or proof of a perfectly normal insecurity in this extraordinary summer season.

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Photo by Alain Roberge, Pres

Airlines, according to the Montreal Convention, must compensate their customers after a lost suitcase.

Other ways to file a claim

The conveyor belt spins tirelessly, passing suitcases, but not yours. And now the hilarity has ceased. Naturally, you will have to leave the airport without luggage. Oh no!

If this happens to you, remember that the Montreal Convention requires airlines to compensate their customers. The maximum amount is about $2300. “This restriction applies to most international routes, as well as routes within Canada,” states the Air Canada site. The carrier will reimburse “reasonable interim” expenses (which may include bicycle rental if yours cannot be found) upon receipt of receipts.

Air Transat adds that “Luggage is considered lost if it is not found within 21 days from the date it should have been delivered.” Before that, it was “delayed”.

Please note that claims must be made within 21 days for delayed baggage and 30 days before damages (21 days for domestic flights).

The problem? According to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), “the airline is not required to compensate you if all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent the problem or if these steps are impossible to take”. Admit that this is not very reassuring.

How can we as a passenger prove that Air Canada or Air Transat did not take all “reasonable steps” to ensure that our luggage arrived safely and on time? I anticipate some debate on this matter…

carrier or donkeyuror ?

Since credit card insurance offers compensation, who should be contacted first? you ask.

“Customers are invited to make a request to the airline first. In fact, the insurer may intervene in cases where the client is not compensated for all costs. Occurred due to the situation,” replied Alexander Guay, the representative of the National Bank. The same article at BMO said “Credit card insurer is the second payer.”

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However, this information is not included in insurance contracts. And I tried to find out by what exact mechanism the insurer would know that his client has not already been reimbursed by the carrier, but I didn’t get a clear answer.

Is it better to submit two claims on the spot to increase your chances of getting compensation, even if you intend to cancel one later if necessary? Hard to say. But with trust in air carriers eroding and difficulty reaching their customer services, we certainly can’t blame a traveler for wanting to tip the odds in his favor.

new prprotection

You can also reduce your stress by purchasing a new product launched at the end of June by Late Flight, a Montreal company called Peace of Mind. For $15, this package includes an airline complaint service if baggage is delayed or misplaced.

“Customer will get 100% compensation to which he is entitled”, as no commission will be withheld due to late flight, it said. This is not the case when a complaint is handed over for a canceled or delayed flight, as 25% commission is withheld on the compensation received. In both cases, we will take care of everything for you, but it is important to keep the evidence.

Photo by Martin Tremblay, The Press

Jacob Charbonneau, President and CEO of Late Flight

At this time, the Peace of Mind package is only available through selected travel agents. “Seven out of ten customers take it. The momentum is great! “, agrees Jacob Charbonneau, co-founder and CEO of Late Flight, while his service allows you to get compensated.

The entrepreneur does not rule out the possibility of selling his product directly to the public, on his website, in a year or two.

By the way, FICAV, the compensation fund for users of travel agents administered by the Office of Consumer Protection, does not provide any compensation for baggage issues. On the other hand, travel insurance provides additional protection, often flexible.

And remember that if you have paid for the registration of your luggage, this amount can be refunded in case of loss or damage.

No amount of money will make you forget the contents of your suitcase, but leaving money on the table will ruin your vacation a little more.