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The 25 Most Bizarre Travel Insurance Claims Ever

What links a tourist who lost 84 kilograms of Bombay mix on holiday with another who had his camera stolen by a monkey? Both are among the more unusual claims received by travel insurance companies. Times Money has trawled through the files of some of the UK’s biggest insurers to bring you the 25 most bizarre travel insurance claims ever. Here they are…

monkey 4 The 25 Most Bizarre Travel Insurance Claims Ever

1. One thing you don’t expect when you go on holiday is to be harassed by a monkey. One British traveller in Gibraltar, however, was so besieged by the attentions of an over-friendly primate that he asked his insurer to refund the cost of his trip. The insurer refused but did pay out for his camera, which the monkey had run off with one evening.

2. Monkeys also blighted the romantic getaway of a couple in Malaysia, who foolishly left the window to their chalet open during the day. They returned to find their underwear, clothing and belongings strewn across the resort and neighbouring rainforest. Luckily for the clothes-less couple, their insurer paid the claim.

3. One unlucky pensioner managed to lose his false teeth after throwing up over the side of a cruise ship on the choppy seas of the Bay of Biscay. Thankfully for the squeamish septuagenarian, his misplaced dentures were covered in his travel insurance policy under lost baggage, so his claim was paid.

4. Another unfortunate pensioner had to make an even more embarrassing travel claim after a stroll on the deck of a cruise ship went disastrously wrong. The poor gentlemen was chatting with friends when a strong gust of wind lifted his toupee off his head and blew it into the sea. He never got over the shame but at least his travel policy reimbursed the cost of his hairpiece.

5. It is all too easy to lose your sunglasses, or even your passport, on holiday. Less easy, you might think, to misplace 34 large bags of Bombay mix. Yet one holidaymaker claimed he had lost £300-worth of the spicy snack while in Europe. At roughly 89p for a 250g bag, the misplaced mix would have weighed a hefty 84 kilograms. Needless to say, his insurance company turned him down.

6. It is a good idea to keep your wallet secure at all times when you are away, as one careless Briton discovered to his cost in Israel. The holidaymaker accidentally dropped his wallet down a drain in Natanya. However, his claim wasn’t for his lost credit cards or cash. It was for hospital treatment after being stung by a poisonous scorpion while reaching down into the drain to get his possessions back. Thankfully, his travel insurance covered the cost of treatment.

7. A holidaymaker in Spain lost his camera after setting it down beside him on a park bench. The strap, hanging tantalisingly down over the edge of the seat, caught the attention of a passing dog, which grabbed it and ran off with the camera. His insurer paid for a new camera under accidental damage.

8. One family camping in a remote field in Wales had their peace disturbed when a parachutist from a nearby airbase missed his target and scored a direct hit, landing on their tent and destroying their camping equipment. Sadly, the family weren’t covered for accidental damage so their insurer didn’t reimburse them.

9. It’s every parent’s nightmare. Your children are playing on the beach and they think it would be fun to bury your camcorder worth £600. Thankfully, when this happened to a family in Cornwall, their insurer saw the funny side and refunded the cost.

10. Police in a holiday resort in France were on the lookout for a wrinkle-free burglar after a woman who had her cosmetics bag stolen from her hotel room admitted that she had transferred medical-strength haemorrhoid cream into an empty tub of moisturiser earlier in the holiday. Her claim for make-up, lotions and perfume was paid.

11. A holidaymaker who was refused entry to a plane at Manchester Airport had his travel-insurance claim for holiday cancellation declined after it emerged that he had actually booked a flight from Manchester, New Hampshire, USA.

12. Mis-reading your flight details is easy to do, usually necessitating a frantic rush to the departure gate. But one family that turned up late for their flight had no such panic. Their plane had departed the previous month. They were denied compensation from their travel insurer.

13. A holidaymaker who arrived in a ski resort only to find that there was not enough snow, claimed for the cost of the brand new skis she had bought before leaving the UK. Unsurprisingly, the insurer rejected her claim.

14. A man walking along the street in Greece became so transfixed by two bikini-clad girls that he walked straight into a glass-panelled bus shelter and broke his nose. He successfully claimed on his travel insurance for his hospital bills.

15. The fairytale wedding day for a British couple on a West Indian beach went up in smoke after the bride’s dress caught fire from a brick of coal that fell from the BBQ. The quick-thinking groom picked up his now blazing bride, ran along the beach and tossed her into the ocean. They were able to claim on their travel insurance policy for the ruined wedding outfits as they had taken out wedding cover before jetting off.

16. Another couple stayed in a Parisian hotel room infested with fleas. After two days of itching and scratching, the pair cut their trip short and returned home, where they hastily burnt all their clothes on a bonfire. However, their claims for replacement wardrobe were rejected.

17. A traveller who lost his bag on holiday claimed only for its contents: a bottle of water, a newspaper and a packet of mints. With an excess on his insurance policy of £50, his claim was rejected.

18. When you’re holidaying in the Black Forest, it’s not thieves that you need to watch out for. One family left the door to their chalet open and came home to find that their wallets and passports had been eaten by a greedy goat, who had also chomped through some sandwiches that had been sitting on the kitchen table. The family’s claim for cost of new passports and wallets was rejected.

19. Sometimes Dads don’t always know best. A resourceful father whisked his teenage daughter to a local hairdresser, after she frazzled her hair on the oven in their holiday apartment in Spain. The result was hardly the work of Mr Toni and Mr Guy, leaving the girl running in tears from the salon. The dad tried, but failed, to claim the cost of the disastrous haircut from his insurance policy.

20. A chilled-out traveller in Sri Lanka needed £400 worth of hospital treatment after a large, ripe coconut fell from a tree and landed squarely on her head while she was peacefully reading below. She was knocked out cold, which is hardly surprising. Fresh coconuts weigh roughly 2 kilograms, and the trees grow up to 30 metres tall. The coconut would have been falling at 53 miles per hour when it hit the poor woman on the skull. Her insurer covered her medical expenses.

21. Meanwhile Direct Line received a claim for two lost coconuts from a couple who returned home from a holiday in Mauritius. As a coconut costs just 69p (from your local Tesco), the claim was rejected. The couple’s excess on their policy meant they would have paid for the first £50 of the cost of any claim.

22. A customer submitted a claim for a “guitar made out of a pumpkin”. The slightly baffled staff at Direct Line were forced to reject the claim.

23. The clue was in neon lights above the door. A young party animal in Greece got badly burnt when she tried to order a cocktail in local hangout called “Fire Bar”. Ignoring the loud warning buzzer, and the disappearance of her fellow drinkers, she stood firmly at the bar waiting to be served when it suddenly became engulfed in flames. She received third degree burns to her hands, and successfully claimed £300 worth of medical expenses.

24. A British backpacker was chased down the street by an angry bull in Kerala, Southern India. It wasn’t clear from his claim whether he provoked the animal, but he did require £2,800 worth of hospital treatment after the attack, which was reimbursed by his travel insurer.

25. Finally, according to one long-serving insurance underwriter, there have been more Rolex Oyster watches, worth upwards of £1,000, recorded as lost in the Costa Del Sol in the Spain than have ever been manufactured.

Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World

(click on image to enlarge)

Denver International Airport

1 denver international airport Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World Denver International AirportAt first glance Denver looks like a modern architecture version of a bedouin encampment, something that you might see at an airport in the Arab Emirates. But the Teflon coated pyramid shaped tent canopies are references to the white capped mountains behind. The effect is great.

There are several conspiracy theories relating to the airport’s design and construction. Murals painted in the baggage claim area have been claimed to contain themes referring to future military oppression and a one-world government.

In the mid-1990s, Philip Schneider gave lectures about highly secretive government information concerning “deep underground military bases” that were constructed by the United States government, and said that one of these bases exists about two miles underneath the Denver International Airport.

Author Alex Christopher claimed to have worked in the tunnels under the airport, and described what appeared to be vast holding areas for prisoners, strange nausea-inducing electromagnetic forces, and caverns big enough to drive trucks through, presumably to be filled with helpless political prisoners.

2 madrid barajas international airport Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World Madrid’s Barajas International Airport Terminal 4

Madrid’s Barajas International Airport Terminal 4 is the main international airport serving Madrid, Spain. It is the country’s largest and busiest airport, the world’s tenth busiest airport and Europe’s fourth. It opened in 1928, and has grown to be one of the most important aviation centres of Europe. The airport derives its name from the adjacent town of Barajas, which has its own metro station on the same rail line serving the airport.

The Madrid-Barcelona air shuttle service, known as the “Puente Aéreo”, is the world’s busiest route, with the highest number of flight operations (971 per week) in 2007. The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when a Madrid-Barcelona high-speed rail line was opened, covering the distance in 2½ hours, and quickly became popular. Barajas serves as the gateway to the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe and the world, and is a particularly key link between Europe and Latin America. The airport is the primary hub and maintenance base for Iberia Airlines. Consequently, Iberia Airlines is responsible for more than 60 percent of Barajas’ traffic.

The airport was first constructed in 1927, opening to national and international air traffic on April 22, 1931 and is the most important international and domestic gateway in Spain.

Terminal 4, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers (winning them the 2006 Stirling Prize) was inaugurated on February 5, 2006. Barajas has the world’s largest single terminal area, with an area of more than one million square meters (11 million square feet). Consisting of a main building (T4) and satellite building (T4S), which are separated by approximately 2.5 km, the new terminal is meant to give passengers a stress-free start to their journey.

This is managed through careful use of illumination, available by glass panes instead of walls and numerous domes in the roof which allow natural light to pass through

3 incheon international airport Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World Incheon International Airport

Incheon International Airportis the largest airport in South Korea, and one of the largest and busiest in Asia. Since 2006, it has been consecutively rated as the best airport in the world and received the full 5-star ranking by Skytrax, the prestigious recognition shared only by Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport.

Located 70 km (43 mi) from Seoul, the capital and largest city of South Korea, Incheon International Airport is the main hub for Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and Polar Air Cargo.

The airport opened for business in early 2001, replacing the older Gimpo International Airport, which now serves only domestic destinations plus shuttle flights to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, and Kansai International Airport.

The airport serves as a hub for international civilian air transportation and cargo traffic in East Asia. Security facilities are state-of-the-art and medical inspection equipment is also very advanced, in response to terrorist threats and various epidemics in southwestern Asia. As a result, Incheon International Airport is considered Asia’s most technologically facilitated airport.

Incheon International Airport is also currently Asia’s eighth busiest airport in terms of passengers, the world’s fifth busiest airport in terms of cargo and freight, and the world’s eleventh busiest airport in terms of international passengers.

4 saarinen twa terminal Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World The TWA Flight Center

The TWA Flight Center was the original name for Terminal 5 at New York City’s Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport), designed by Eero Saarinen for Trans World Airlines. Under rehabilitation since December 2005, it will be known as the JetBlue Flight Center after its new occupant, JetBlue Airways. It was designated a historic landmark by the City of New York in 1994 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 7, 2005.

The terminal had a futuristic air. The interior had wide glass windows that opened onto parked TWA jets; departing passengers would walk to planes through round, red-carpeted tubes. It was a far different structure and form than Saarinen’s design for the current main terminal of Washington Dulles International Airport, which utilized mobile lounges to take passengers to airplanes.

Design of the terminal was awarded to Detroit-based Eero Saarinen and Associates. It was completed in 1962 and became the airport’s most famous landmark. Gates in the terminal were close to the street and this made it difficult to create centralized ticketing and security checkpoints. This building was the first airline terminal to have closed circuit television, a central public address system, baggage carousels, an electronic schedule board and precursors to the now ubiquitous baggage weigh-in scales. JFK was rare in the airport industry for having company owned and designed terminals; other airline terminals were built by Eastern Airlines and American Airlines. Individually branded terminals included the Worldport of Pan American World Airways and the Sundrome of National Airlines.

5 kuala lumpur international airport Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Kuala Lumpur International Airport commonly known as KLIA is one of Asia’s major aviation hubs, along with Tokyo’s Narita Airport, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport. It is also Malaysia’s main international airport. It is situated in the Sepang district, in the south of the state of Selangor, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. KLIA was built at a cost of some US$3.5 billion.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport is capable of handling 35 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo a year in its current phase. It is currently ranked as the 13th busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic in 2007, and is the 7th busiest international airport in Asia. The complex handled 26,938,970 passengers in 2007, a 13.0% increase over 2005. Also in 2007, Kuala Lumpur International Airport handled 677,446 metric tonnes of cargo, which was a 3.6% increase in volume from 2005. The increase in cargo volume made Kuala Lumpur International Airport one of the busiest airports by cargo traffic, ranking KLIA 30th among all other airports.

6 singapore changi airport Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 3

Singapore Changi Airport is a major aviation hub in Asia, particularly in the Southeast Asian region, and is the main airport in Singapore. Located in Changi on a site of 13 square kilometres (5.0 sq mi), it is about 17.2 kilometres (10.7 mi) north-east from the commercial centre.

The airport is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and is the home base of Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, SilkAir, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways, Valuair, and Jett8 Airlines Cargo. It is a hub for Garuda Indonesia and a secondary hub for Qantas, which uses Singapore as the main stopover point for flights on the Kangaroo Route between Australia and Europe, the latter being the largest foreign airline to operate from the airport with over two million passengers handled annually As of April 2008, there are about 4,340 weekly flights operated by 80 airlines to over 116 cities in 59 countries. An important contributor to the Singapore economy, 13,000 people are employed at the airport. The airport accounts for over S$4.5 billion in output.

7 bilbaoairport Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World Bilbao Airport

is a public airport located 5 km north of Bilbao, in the municipality of Loiu, in Spain. It is the most important airport of the Basque Country and northern Spain, with 4,277,610 passengers on 2007. It is famous for its new main terminal opened in 2000 and designed by Santiago Calatrava.

The airport has seen a constant increase in its traffic numbers, the old terminal was already saturated and obsolete in 1990, although it had been renewed only a few years earlier. At the present day Bilbao is the most important hub in northern Spain and the number of passengers using the new terminal continues to rise, especially after the increased tourist interest in the city since the opening of the Guggenheim museum. With the current increase of traffic, the terminal will become saturated again in a year because it is designed to handle about 4.5 million passengers per year, in 2007 it went nearly to its maximum capacity.

8 san francisco international Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World San Francisco International (SFO)

San Francisco International Airport n is a major international airport located 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, adjacent to the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO. The airport has flights to destinations throughout North America and is a major gateway to Europe, Asia, and Australasia.

San Francisco International Airport is the largest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the second busiest airport in the state of California after Los Angeles International Airport. As of 2006, San Francisco International Airport is the thirteenth largest in the United States and the twenty-third largest airport in the world, in terms of passengers. It is a major hub of United Airlines and is Virgin America’s principal base of operations. It is the sole maintenance hub of United Airlines. SFO is also a focus city for Alaska Airlines.

SFO has numerous passenger amenities, including a wide range of food and drink establishments, shopping, baggage storage, public showers, a medical clinic, and assistance for lost or stranded travelers and military personnel. The airport hosts the Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library, and both permanent and temporary art exhibitions in several places in the terminals. Public Wi-Fi is available throughout most of the terminal area, provided by T-Mobile for a fee.

9 kansai international airport Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport is an international airport located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, off the shore of the cities of Sennan and Izumisano and the town of Tajiri in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. (It should not be confused with Osaka International Airport, which is closer to the city and now handles only domestic flights.) It was ranked 4th overall in the Airport of the Year 2006 awards named by Skytrax, next to Singapore Changi Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and Munich International Airport.

It is colloquially known as 関空 (Kankū?) in Japanese. During FY 2006, KIX, which serves the city of Osaka, had 116,475 aircraft movements, of which 73,860 were international (31 countries, 71 cities), and 42,615 were domestic (19 cities). The total number of passengers was 16,689,658 of which 11,229,444 were international, and 5,460,214 were domestic, sixth in Japan and second in Osaka area. Freight volume was at 802,162 tonnes total, of which 757,414 t were international (18th in the world), and 44,748 t were domestic. The 4,000 meter runway 2 was opened on August 2, 2007. Kansai Airport has become an Asian hub, with 499 weekly flights to Asia, 66 weekly flights to Europe and the Middle East, and 35 weekly flights to North America.

10 beijing airport Breathtaking Airport Terminals Around the World Beijing Airport Terminal 3

Construction of Terminal 3 started on March 28, 2004, and was opened in two stages. Trial operations commenced on February 29, 2008, when seven airlines, namely British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Shandong Airlines and Sichuan Airlines moved into the terminal. 20 other airlines moved into the terminal when it became fully operational on March 26, 2008. Currently, it mainly houses Air China, Oneworld, Star Alliance, and other domestic and international flights.

It was designed by a consortium of NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants B.V), UK Architect Foster and Partners and ARUP. The budget of the expansion is US$3.5 billion. Far grander in size and scale than the existing terminals, it was the largest airport terminal-building complex built in a single phase with 986,000 square meters in total floor area at its opening. It features a main passenger terminal (Terminal 3C), two satellite concourses (Terminal 3D and Terminal 3E) and five floors above ground and two underground, with the letters “A and B” omitted to avoid confusions with the existing Terminals 1 and 2. Terminal 3C is dedicated for domestic flights, Terminal 3E for international flights, and Terminal 3D, called the “Olympics Hall”, was used for charter flights during the Beijing Olympics, before its use by international flights.

Terminal 3 is larger than London Heathrow Airport’s 5 terminals combined with another 17% to spare.

Terminal 3 of the BCIA is currently the second largest airport passenger terminal building of the world. Its title as the world’s largest was surrendered to Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 (over 1,500,000 m²) on October 14, 2008.]

Hollow Earth

hollow9 Hollow Earth

Once everyone finally agreed that the earth was round, the next natural step was to argue about what was inside. About 200 years after Columbus failed to prove the world was round by failing to sail all the way around it, and 170 years after Magellan got it right, Sir Edmund Halley put forward the first well-developed theory of the Hollow Earth.

Halley, known the world over as “that comet guy”, had been troubled by his study of the earth’s magnetic fields, detected by compasses, and spent a fair amount of his life trying to come up with an explanation for why those fields were shifting. Eventually, he concluded that there had to be some sort of mechanism within the earth to explain the phenomenon.

Halley wasn’t the first person to speculate about vast underground spaces. The mad Jesuit Athanasius Kircher had already proposed vast networks of underground conduits and caves in his Mundus Subterraneus — a collection of the geological knowledge of his day, compiled a couple of years before Halley’s tract.

But Halley took the cave concept a step further and thrust the Hollow Earth into a popular belief. He argued that the earth on which we live was simply a shell, inside of which floated another entire planet.

Halley theorized that the outer shell was coated with a tarry substance that would ooze like caulk into any cracks formed by earthquakes or other unfortunate geological incidents, thus preventing the oceans from emptying into the hollowed-out earth like water running down a drain. He also argued that this theory explained a popular but mistaken view that the Earth had four magnetic poles — two fixed and two floating. The fixed ones were on the outer shell and the floating ones were inside. [Read more…]

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