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August 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Undercurrent Aids Subscriber with Travel Problems

from the August, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

What do you do when your physician advises you to delay a planned dive trip because of what you might have considered to be a trivial medical condition? That's what happened to subscriber Ed Leibowitz (Jersey City, NJ) who went down with a case of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

BPPV is a disorder arising from a problem in the inner ear. Symptoms are repeated, brief periods of vertigo with a spinning sensation upon changes in the position of the head.

It was April 2, when he was booked to go on Nai'a in Fiji less than three weeks later. Without trip insurance, he stood to lose the full cost of the trip he'd booked through Ultimate Dive Travel -- a whopping $3875. The agent was powerless to help and was unable reschedule the trip.

Undercurrent wrote to Nai'a to ask if they would consider postponing Ed's booking -- after all, he still wanted to go. He just needed time for his inner ears to settle down.

Alexxis Edwards, owner of Nai'a, was very understanding. Nai'a has a massive reputation for customer service, and she offered a solution by moving Ed's booking to late May when there was still availability.

She wrote, "Hopefully Ed's health will be 100 percent by then. We have been in touch with Laura at Ultimate Dive Travel to explain the situation. We both have systems in place to try to help in these scenarios, but sometimes it is just too late. Ultimate is one of our top wholesalers, and we have had a wonderful relationship for close to 24 years. I hope Ed understands that their hands are tied."

Sadly, Ed's condition did not improve in time and he was not able to make the trip. We're sorry to say he's been advised by more than one ENT specialist to stop scuba diving for the time being. The insurers paid out a substantial proportion of his original outlay.

From this experience, Ed has some advice to share: Don't always purchase the cheapest trip insurance, something that he confesses he had been guilty of in the past.

He says, "If you have health related problems or personal problems that can cause you to cancel a trip, it may be better to purchase the gold or platinum policy instead of the bronze or silver policies."

If you face unresolvable problems with your travel arrangements, let us hear from you. We'll see if we can help.

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