Going Viral


Life moves fast sometimes, doesn’t it?

Just a month ago I was finalising details of a 10 day trip to Tunisia at the end of March, and starting to book flights for going to Russia in June. Tunisia had to be cancelled obviously. A lot could change before the end of June, but Russia seems a very remote possibility now.

Air France allowed me to re-book the flights to/from Tunis for October at the same price and without paying fees. They showed no signs of wanting to just refund my money. One hotel reservation allowed me to cancel without payment. The other took payment in full – £330.


My car rental reservation can be carried forward to October, but my internal flight from Tunis to Djerba (and back) is just forfeit. Another £100 lost.

Travel insurance? I have it to make sure I am covered for unexpected health problems when on holiday. I am cynical about insurance however, especially the travel kind. The business is good at identifying what risks lead to payouts, and then excluding those risks in the small print.

Did you know that if you want to claim for a lost suitcase, the insurance company will demand a receipt for every item in its contents, and the luggage itself? Keep those receipts… In addition, if the item is not new, they will discount the amount they will pay out based on how old it is. Keep those receipts…


As far as Tunisia goes, once the government there had announced a 14 day monitored self isolation period for anyone arriving from abroad, I knew I could not go. The logistics of complying with that seemed impossible, plus I would not have been allowed to fly home without completing it, and my trip was only for 10 days.

The insurance company will interpret that as me “choosing not to travel”.

Air France cancelled the flights between Paris and Tunis a couple of days later. Oddly enough, after that they were still encouraging me to check in for my flight from Edinburgh to Paris, which had not been cancelled.

© iain taylor, 2020


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