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Baggage delayed? Ask for a stipend

If you’re landing in Hawaii in winter, you’re likely itching to trade that heavy coat for a T-shirt. So when your baggage doesn’t appear on the carousel, it’s not just the tropical temperatures making you sweat.

Delayed baggage can derail a trip by leaving you without your necessary items. However, if you know where to look, you can find stipends to help cover your basic needs until your baggage arrives.

There are three primary sources for coverage when your bags have been delayed. First, airlines will generally give you a toiletries kit, and many also grant stipends for bags lost for more than 24 hours. However, airlines rarely advertise the fact, so it’s up to you to find out about—and push for—the coverage. When you go to file your delayed baggage report, ask about stipends or interim purchase allowances.

Second, you might also be covered with the credit card you used to book your flight. Baggage assistance coverage often includes a stipend for immediate expenses due to delayed bags. When in doubt, call your credit card company to see how it can help.

Third, if you’ve got travel insurance, you may have delayed baggage coverage that provides for immediate expenses. When you buy travel insurance, be sure to print out the overview of your coverage so you know what to expect and who to call for help.

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