Air Canada loses luggage with cancer meds, sends to Dubai

Air Canada loses luggage with cancer meds, sends to Dubai

A Canadian couple’s luggage containing cancer treatment medications was lost for nearly a month and travelled as far as Dubai before making it back to Canada.

On Dec. 15, Karen Bailey and David Baker left Calgary, Alta. with three suitcases and connected through Toronto Pearson International Airport on route to the Bahamas.

Air Canada loses luggage with cancer meds, sends to DubaiKaren Bailey and David Baker lost their luggage for nearly a month. But upon their arrival, they learned two of their three suitcases were lost – both containing cancer medications for Baker.

“They shake their heads and say Air Canada and Toronto have a huge problem,” Bailey said, while noting that their luggage was lost even before major issues began to unravel at Pearson Airport following a wicked storm.

“We were carrying three different medications for my husband for cancer treatment and they far exceeded the limits for fluids in a carry-on, so we had to pack them in a checked bag.”

When their luggage went missing, they had trouble tracking down information and went to the airport daily hoping their bags would arrive. At one point, they were told their luggage was mistakenly sent to the United Arab Emirates.

“We were told on the flight tracker that our bags were in Dubai,” said Bailey.

More than two weeks after they arrived in the Bahamas one suitcase did arrive, but it was badly damaged.

Karen Bailey and David Baker receive one of their lost bags and find it damaged. “It was terrible. It was in a plastic bag that had been ripped and on the plastic bag it had the word Dubai, so it had been to Dubai,” said Baker.

Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs, President and Founder of Air Passenger Rights, said the law is clear: passengers must be paid compensation for lost or delayed luggage.

“Nobody wants this type of trouble. The airline has to pay compensation for reasonable and interim expenses up to $2,300 Canadian,” said Lukacs.

If your luggage is lost or delayed, provide your contact information, a detailed description of your baggage and contents, your baggage claim stubs and your boarding passes.

CTV News reached out to Air Canada and airline spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said in a statement, “We fully realize how inconvenient it is when baggage is delayed and our goal is to always have a customer’s bags travel and arrive with the owner. In this case this regrettably did not occur.”

Luggage photographed at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. “We have remained in contact with the customer and our customer relations team did assure the customer earlier this week that her expenses would be refunded and she was also offered a goodwill gesture. We will also address any damage claim the customer may have. The customer’s final bag was misdirected but has since been located and is scheduled to be returned.”

Bailey and Baker said their final bag was found in Timmins, Ont. and has now been returned to them.

“What do you know 24 days later after we arrived we got the suitcase and it was the first one on the carousel while we were waiting. There was a sense of relief to get David’s medications,” said Bailey.

If you don’t get your suitcase it’s considered delayed and after 21 days it’s considered lost. Adding to the problem at Pearson Airport over the holidays was a broken luggage conveyor belt which has since been repaired.