Please Note - If you are cruising around Australia you need to select Pacific.
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An airline-wide crackdown on carry-on luggage could leave passengers exposed and vulnerable to losses say travel insurance experts.
Virgin, Jetstar and other Aussie airlines have clamped down on existing hand-luggage restrictions insisting all bags be weighed before boarding. Travellers will be made to repack or check in their carry-on bags weighing over 7kg and pay penalty fees as a result. While Qantas initially called for a 7kg limit on hand luggage too, it recently increased its limit to 10kg
Natalie Ball, Director, Comparetravelinsurance.com.au says that travellers should take care when checking in their belongings:
“Be warned that bags stowed in the aeroplane hold are not actually covered by travel insurance so take every effort to account for any valuables in your luggage. Once you have checked-in your bags the airline will be held responsible for any damages or losses. Make sure you’re aware of this before you pack your belongings.”
Those travelling with valuables or expensive equipment could be seriously out of pocket if forced to stow their belongings in the aeroplane hold.
“Travellers with overweight hand luggage may be placed in an awkward predicament. Transferring your valuables can be an ordeal during peak travel periods.”
“What’s more, most people are probably unaware that travel insurance does not cover luggage stored in the hold of an aeroplane. It’s important that passengers understand that any precious or valuable items like engagement rings may not be covered if moved from hand luggage to hold luggage becuase they would be considered unattended.”
Ball suggests that passengers with high-value goods do their best to keep them within arms reach.
“If you are asked to check in your hand luggage, we would recommend taking out any valuables, or consider leaving them at home in the first place. If that’s not viable see what other options are available before you depart, such as getting portable contents cover included as part of your home insurance.”
Should an issue arise with your belongings in transit Ball advises travellers to get in touch with their airline.
“In the event that your checked baggage is damaged or goes missing it is up to your airline to reimburse you. Make sure you document any written confirmation from the airline and keep receipts for your belongings as they will need this as proof of purchase.”
Lastly, Ball says that travellers shouldn’t dismiss the fact that airlines are taking a firm stance on the issue.
“There is no question that these new restrictions are certainly being enforced and passengers simply need to be prepared. If you’ve got any fears or doubts, have a chat to your airline or travel insurer. When in doubt, it’s always best to know before you go.”
Natali is a former kids magazine writer whose credits include working for the mouse (Mickey that is). An avid traveller, Natali spent part of her childhood in Israel and enjoyed several stints across the globe. Having worked in travel insurance for three years, Natali likes to simplify the fine-print and help Aussies make sense of their insurance policies. She currently lives in Sydney with her husband and one-year old son.