Staged distraction

This item appears on page 51 of the November 2009 issue.

Although we are supposed to be savvy travelers, in April ’09 we were taken in by a scam that we were not ready for.

My wife and I were seated in a 4-seat section on a train in Germany. I had put my Eurail pass in my jacket inside pocket, with the jacket lying on the seat opposite my window seat.

An older gentleman lost some coins on the floor, and while we were distracted his partner removed the contents of my jacket pocket. Of course, we didn’t realize what had happened until we got on the next train.

We thought we were insured and filed a police report. The report and other substantiating documentation were sent to our travel insurer, TruTravel (Tampa, FL; 888/878-4467, However, our claim was denied, as the fine print stated that loss of tickets is not covered.

This was a general travel insurance policy covering trip cancellation, trip delays and baggage loss, with health and medical-evacuation benefits. So we were out over $700.


Reno, NV