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"Cover to write home about"

The Consequences of Losing Your Passport

It was Quiz Night at ‘The Weary Traveller’. I am always fascinated at these events – I enjoy the odd trivia question, and

have been known to take part in the odd quiz night – but there are people who take it very seriously, and the village pub is swamped by ‘outsiders’ who come in their droves to take part. They are almost professional quizzers, they come as a well organised team, with their ‘specialist’ players; it’s a bit like ‘The Chase’ .v. ‘Eggheads’. I wouldn’t mind, but the prize is usually only a £100 or so, but they take it very seriously…..

As I walked in I could immediately see that there were no seats available anywhere – even the ‘Snug Room’ was full. The Landlord was using a microphone to relay the questions “For five points, who played the harmonica on the 1965 hit record ‘My Boy Lollipop’? “ ………

I groaned inwardly and turned to leave – looked like I would have to forgo my pint of ‘Old Wallop’ tonight, which was a shame because I had had a tough day working in my garden and sorting my sock drawer, and then I bumped into my old pal Charlie.

Now Charlie and I have been mates for years – we go right back to our days at school, when we swapped our World Cup stickers – yes it was the year when we actually won!!!!

“Quiz Night” asked Charlie
“Yep” I replied

“Fancy coming round to mine, I’ve got some bottles in the fridge, and the wife’s gone to the cinema with her friends.’’

So that was settled – we strolled back to Charlie’s house and settled down with our beers. After an hour or so reminiscing, Charlie started telling me about the problems his son had encountered on a recent holiday.

Charlie’s son, Frank and fiancée Eileen had recently been on holiday in the Greek Islands, hopping from island to island and generally taking it easy. The day before they were due to sail back to Corfu to catch their Monday flight home, Eileen realised that she couldn’t find her passport. Despite searching high and low there was no trace of it.

Frank immediately got out his laptop and ‘googled’ what to do if you lose your passport and discovered that they could apply for an emergency travel document on line – however it was not as simple as that as they still had to contact the British Vice Consul in Corfu to make an appointment to collect the document.

Unfortunately, the consulate in Corfu operates between 8am and 3pm, and so the earliest they could make an appointment for was Tuesday, the day after they were due to return home.

Frank and Eileen travelled to Corfu the next day as planned and contacted their airline to re-arrange their flights home. It turned out the earliest available flight was Wednesday, and it was going to Birmingham – not really helpful as their car was parked at Gatwick. They had to take these flights though because Frank had an important business meeting on the Friday.

That was when Charlie received a call asking him to pick them up from Birmingham. Charlie wasn’t too happy about that because Wednesday night is darts night at ‘The Weary Traveller’.

Anyway, the couple finally arrived safely home. But the story doesn’t end there. Once back home Frank contacted his travel insurance company to claim for the lost passport etc.

He was claiming for the additional accommodation in Corfu, the cost of Eileen’s emergency travel documents, the cost of the replacement air tickets, Charlie’s petrol and the additional two days parking at Gatwick Airport, as well as the cost of a new passport for Eileen.

“All in all it was around £250 they were out of pocket” said Charlie “However all the insurance company would pay out for was the additional accommodation and the cost of the emergency travel documents – about £100. Apparently everything else is what they call a consequential loss and isn’t covered”

Well, I must say that I was surprised; after all it wasn’t their fault that they had to buy new tickets, or incur the additional days parking in Gatwick, and what about the cost of getting from Birmingham to Gatwick?

Made me think that if I ever venture abroad I will make sure that I keep my passport safe – I don’t want to risk being out of pocket like Frank and Eileen.

By the way, the answer to Pub Quiz question was Rod Stewart!

It’s a shame Frank and Eileen did not know about Postcard Travel insurance – it provides cover for the travel and accommodation costs incurred in getting an emergency travel document, the cost of replacement flights and the costs of increased parking and travel arrangements back home if, like Frank and Eileen you end up at a different airport in the UK; Postcard also contributes towards the cost of a new passport.

Cover to write home about at a price you can afford – that’s the Postcard promise.


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