When Disaster Strikes

Lost Luggage?

Remain as calm as possible and remain polite to whomever you're asking for help. That person is not the one who lost your luggage. And he will probably be more helpful if you're not yelling.

 

  • Go to the airline counter and submit a report and file a claim immediately.  If the airline counter is closed - go to the lost luggage claim department for your claim. Don't leave the airport without some proof that you reported your loss to a responsible party.

 

  • Make sure the person to whom you've reported your loss knows where to send the luggage when it's finally located. If you're on your outgoing leg of your trip - leave a copy of your itinerary.

 

  • Now - aren't you glad you put your contact information inside your bag? Even if the luggage tag got ripped off in transit - you'll have some hope of being reunited with your belongings.​

 

Missed Your Flight?

GET OUT YOUR SOS BAG 
 
  • Use the airline reservation phone number to start the process of booking on another flight. The phone is much faster than standing in line at the airline's rebooking counter.

 

  • Have your airline ticket confirmation number to get quicker service.

 

  • Going to have to stay overnight in your connecting airport's city? Ask for help in transportation and payment for a local hotel. Once again - being calm, cool, collected and polite to the person you're begging for assistance goes a long way.

 

Mugged or Robbed?

GET OUT YOUR SOS BAG 
 
  • Call your credit card company phone number and cancel your cards.

 

  • Report your loss to the local police.  This is critical as you will need a verification of such a report for your travel insurance claim and/or a request for a new passport.

 

  • Call or email your insurance company if possible. Otherwise, wait until you get home. But have that police report handy when you do.

 

Passport Gone?

GET OUT YOUR SOS BAG 

 

  This is a really awful situation. You're not getting home until you have a replacement    passport and you're in for a time-consuming and frustrating experience.

 

  • Get out your 2 passport photos and the scanned copy of the first two pages of your passport.

 

  • Get out the cash you had stashed away from the purse that was just stolen.

 

  • Make a report to the nearest police station. Your next step usually requires that before they will move forward.

 

  • Contact the closest Embassy or Consulate to start the application process. They will be closed on holidays and weekends. In that case, you will have to call the Duty Officer of the day to report your disaster and make arrangements to be seen at the office ASAP. This sucks - but such is life.

 

Sick or Injured?

GET OUT YOUR SOS BAG

 

"I can deal with this situation on my own"

Get out your First Aid Kit or Medicine Bag and start treatment.​

 
"I'm not sure. This seems serious"

In this case, you are feeling horribly ill, incapacitated, and fearful.

Your options here depend on several factors: Are you traveling with an escorted group or an adult companion? Are you in a first-world country? Do you speak the language? Are you in a first-class hotel?

 

If you answered "Yes" to these - all options are available to you:

 

  • You can ask the front desk to call the in-house physician to come to your room.

 

  • Or if a member, contact an English-speaking IMAT doctor to attend you in your room.

 

  • Or ask the front desk to call an ambulance or arrange a taxi to the nearest hospital.

 

If you answered "No" to the above, you're at the mercy of strangers at a time of need.

 

  • If you're too sick to leave your room - have the front desk call for an ambulance. Secure your valuables to take with you and wait.

​​

  • If you're mobile, take your valuables and go to the lobby to be with other people while awaiting a physician, an ambulance, or a taxi.

  • Do NOT accept a ride with strangers no matter how friendly/benign they appear. Being hijacked on top of personal injury would really be over the top.

 

When you get to the healthcare facility, if less than a first-world facility, demand that the packaging for any needles that are to be used on you are opened in front of you.