Travelex vs Discover re delayed bag

By Darrell Fees
This item appears on page 48 of the February 2014 issue.

After being mugged while traveling in Naples, Italy, in 2011, I was quicky reimbursed by the travel insurance company Travelex (800/228-9792), recouping my stolen/damaged property costs (less depreciation).

However, following a 10-day tour of Greece in May ’13, when United Airlines delivered my luggage to me back in Des Moines four days after my return, Travelex required a copy of the lost/delayed baggage claim filed in Athens and the EXACT wording of the claim resolution (I had to hunt that one down) before reimbursing me.

Travelex had to get an official ruling as to whether the baggage had been lost or simply delayed. If I don’t get my luggage until I have already returned from my trip, I consider it “lost,” but they finally decided my luggage had just been delayed, so they paid only the delayed-baggage allotment of $100.

I had used my Discover card to pay for the airfare, so Discover acted as the secondary payer to Travelex. (Discover would have been the primary payer, otherwise.) Discover quickly reimbursed me the remainder of my 10 days’ expenditures without asking whether the luggage was delayed or lost — no mess, no bother; I just needed copies or original receipts — and their allotment was much higher than Travelex’s. 

I’m very frugal. Even so, my expenses for the 10 days (for toiletries, more clothes than what were on my back, etc.) had exceeded $200. 

The only downside was the conversion of euros to dollars, so I lost about $60. 

Oddly, Discover had sent an email long before this trip specifically saying that their credit card was accepted in Greece under the “Diners Club International” label, but I found the card worked NOWHERE I tried. Had it been accepted, all foreign exchange fees charged by my Visa or MasterCard (the $60) would have been included. Fortunately, I had paid for the air Stateside, thus I at least got that additional coverage.


Des Moines, IA