as i wrote before, i hit a snag on my way home from vacation. essentially, my luggage was lost somewhere in brazil because my originating airline (TAM) neglected to transport it to my destination airline (delta). i've had airlines lose my luggage before, and the only way for me to check its status was to either (1) religiously log onto a website and enter the case number or whatever they give you or (2) call a 1-800 number and waste about 30-40 minutes of your day, at which point you end up talking to a random, unconnected individual at a call center nowhere near where your luggage probably is. with option (1), unless the news is good, you really have no relief, and with option (2), whether the news is good or bad, the person at the other end of the phone probably can't do much.
while trying to figure out whether my luggage was insured, i discovered that american express had this program called "global assist". as molly pointed out to me, the main character in the talented mr. ripley goes to the amex office a lot (y'know, cause he's an aspiring debonair international man of mystery). sure enough, the "american express clerk" receives billing in the movie.
long story short, you can outsource this entire process! a very patient and helpful woman from american express called delta on my behalf everyday, then relayed the information to me. i think i saved about 2-3 hours in the aggregate.
look at all of these other things they'll do on your behalf--for free:
- We’ll provide you with the contact of family and/or friends in the event of an emergency situation.
- If you lose something while traveling, Global Assist will help you search for the lost item. We will need to have basic information about the item and where it was lost in order to provide the fastest service.
- Global Assist provides help in arranging bail by locating bail bond agencies that take the American Express Card.