Isn’t This Why You Buy Insurance?
There’s been yet another temporary closing of the tunnel beneath the English Channel and it’s of particular interest to me because I was caught up in that same problem last summer.
This latest disturbance also involved a number of migrants—reports say about a hundred—but this time they actually managed to enter the tunnel itself from the French side and head off on the way to England. They got about 10 miles into the tunnel, about a third of the way to England, before the French police stopped them.
Understandably, the media focus is on the migrants and their assault on the tunnel. Certainly it’s a dramatic story and the desperation of the people to reach England, in some instances at the risk of their lives, is compelling. But almost completely overlooked and unreported are the problems confronting the literally thousands of Eurostar passengers affected by the temporary shutting down of rail traffic through the tunnels. To me, that’s also a story because the passengers are not only dealing with a major inconvenience, but in virtually every instance, they are incurring unexpected expenses that are often considerable.
In my case, because I was unable to catch another train until the following day, I had to pay for an unscheduled night in a Paris hotel. But I was also a no-show at the hotel in London where I had made a reservation many weeks earlier. My total extra cost was about $600. But what if I had been scheduled on a flight back to the U.S. that night? I sat next to three people on the train to London the following day and that was their situation. They had missed their flight back to Chicago, so the demonstration by the migrants was going to end up costing them several thousand dollars.
Weeks ago, I spoke with someone at Travel Guard, the company from whom I bought my travel insurance policy, and was told that the policy didn’t cover this kind of an event. I’m still trying to get documentation from Eurostar confirming that I was on one of the trains sent back to Paris. When it comes, I’m going to file a formal claim and will let you know what happens. I am prepared to be really pissed.