View Full Version : Lessons learned...

-31st January 2008, 23:47
Hi everyone,

After having a serious of disasters on fencing trips I thought I might pass on some of my new wisdom. Maybe you already do all of these things, but I didn't so hopefully this may help some of you.

1. Check how much you can spend on your travel insurance on new kit if yours is delayed and keep receipts for everything!

2. Write down useful numbers like airline customer services, bookings, insurance company queries.

3. Consider printing out details of other flights leaving to your destination from airports nearby in case yours is cancelled and you need to rebook possibly from another airport or airline if your airline doesn't offer anything useful.

4. Put as much in a suitcase as possible and take it as carry on (obv check dimensions and how many pieces of carry you are allowed). If all you need to find on the day are blades and wires your life will be a lot easier.

5. consider putting extra stripes and a patch with your name on it in your hand luggage. If the organisers are going to be really strict then this could really help you out.

6. Take a photo of your bag and keep this in your hand luggage, it will hopefully make it a lot easier to explain to the lost baggage people how obvious your bag is and enable them to find it quickly. If you have a few printed out copies then you can just hand it over to whoever needs it. Failing printing it out maybe keep an image on your phone to show them.

7. Keep a photocopy of your passport in your fencing bag and in your hand luggage. Ditto insurance information and all other useful paperwork, just in case your hand baggage mysteriously disappears...

8. Only take the amount of money you will actually need for the competition to the venue and keep all valuables with you or left with someone who can watch them. Zipping up your fencing bag will not stop someone going in and helping themselves as I have found to my cost (yes I'm a trusting muppet, I know).

9. Try to take someone to the police station with you when you report a theft. My visit went fine in the end but there was a slightly terrifying moment when the police car that picked me up to take me to the station pulled up on to the pavement and parked up outside a dubious looking casino/lap dancing bar. As it happend it was a legitimate police station, but I was more than a bit worried for a few moments...

10. If you have a lot of cards/bank accounts then if you don't have some handy call one number and cancel the lot policy then leave the details with someone you trust so that they can cancel them all for you from the UK rather than you having to call millions of numbers from goodness knows where.

11. If you are booking your own flights fly out as early in the day as you can. Is it worth taking half a day's less annual leave if it cuts down the ch ances of making it to the competition on time and well rested if your flight is cancelled for some strange reason.

12. If something wierd is happening with the airport screens (e.g. lots of flights being delayed and nothing leaving on time) maybe go and check to see what is going on. Do not rely on the airport informing you that there has been a crash 100m away and that your chances of flying from that aiport are basically nil and sit their in ignorant bliss for an hour and a half, the earlier you get on to it the more likely you are to get the few seats on an alternative flight.

That's all for now, if I think of anything else I'll update, feel free to contribute your own tips...

-1st February 2008, 08:56
Hey, good post!

I would add, try to always fly direct...My kit once took 3 days to arrive because it had missed the connection.

-1st February 2008, 13:22
I agree, very good post.

I would add..............don't assume that non-budget airlines wont make you pay extra for sports equipment. Lufthansa admitted that no such charge was mentioned on their website but still insisted on 20euros per bag at Frankfurt. (We were charged nothing on the way out from Edinburgh)

I have started a thread in Off Piste on this subject.

-1st February 2008, 13:30
Thanks everyone I'm glad it has been helpful!

Lufthansa tried to sting me last year going out of Frankfurt. I managed to argue my way out of it luckily, I did post something on here in a thread called Lufthansa Baggage Issues but I am not such a forum expert that I can post a link to it, but you should be able to find it if you search, not sure what help it will be other than generally illustrating how ridiculous the Lufthansa policy is.

-1st February 2008, 13:35
Here it is - http://fencingforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8812

-1st February 2008, 14:42
Well done to libby for posting on this.

I can state how useful it is for fencers competing abroad to know these things and a thanks to Libby for being so helpful when I found myself at my first senior World cup in Greece with my kit in Milan (I had not even flown through Milan!)