Air Canada and YVR, YOU SUCK.

I’m finally home from the great expedition to Portland and Seattle, via Vancouver, and feeling partially human again after being up nearly 33 hours straight, surviving a 10 hour flight delay and losing my luggage.

Gate 50-51, YVR, around midnight, Jan 4
Gate 50-51 at YVR, around midnight on January 4

I apologize first for the crappy quality photos but all I had to document the insanity was my Blackberry, because I sent the DSLR off to Whistler with Chris. Who did recover his luggage by the way, today, at 5 a.m. PT, and probably only because I found it sitting in a pile of “RUSH, PRIORITY” luggage in Toronto yesterday when I arrived and raised holy hell to have it shipped back to him in Vancouver, where they were supposed to hold it but didn’t. I walked it personally to the conveyor belt to the next available flight BACK to Vancouver (yes by the way, it did travel to Japan, as we suspected). In the end he has only missed one day of good skiing. What part of “hold my luggage in Vancouver” they didn’t understand, I will never know, but I’m guessing it has to do with the outsourced call centre in India that butchered his file.

So… after sitting in the airport all day Sunday waiting for my 5:40 pm flight, it started to snow about 15 minutes before we boarded. Which resulted in sitting on a plane for four hours, beside a gentleman who desperately needed to shower and use some deodorant. This snowfall would have been all in a day’s work for the folks at Pearson, but Vancouver is beside itself with the wintry weather its had lately, and is not equipped to deal with it. One plane slipped off the end of a runway and effectively blocked it for the night, leaving only one runway available, with priority going to inbound planes. They eventually canceled my flight and sent us and several hundred other passengers from other flights to a single gate to await our fate (pictured above).  We were told we’d be moved to a new flight to depart at 11:45 pm, which soon became 2 am, which eventually actualized at 3:30 am.

YYZ Domestic Baggage Claim
Only a fraction of the unclaimed luggage in YYZ domestic arrivals.

My original flight and another one were combined onto a Boeing 777 and we were told so too was our luggage, which supposedly accounted for the delay in take off. Not so, I soon discovered (after dealing with Chris’s luggage, I had to get in line again for an hour, to file my own lost luggage claim – the look on the baggage claim rep’s face was priceless when I stepped up to his computer, again). So I got home yesterday afternoon around 2:30 ET, a complete sketch case. I slept for a couple hours and got up to drive (two hours) to my parent’s place to get Zeus, stopping at the airport again on my way out hoping to find my luggage. I only found it this morning, on my way back. Life is returning to a form of normal and I have a day and a half to recover at home before I go back to work on Thursday.

As for the trip, it was heavily tainted with stress because of Chris’s lost ski gear, and his head nearly exploded about a half hour before we arrived at YVR to drop me off, when he got the call from Air Canada to say “oh sir, we’ve found your luggage and it’s on it’s way to Toronto!” There’s lots of fun stuff to report too and now that I’m at home, with my luggage, and laundry on the go, I can reflect on it and enjoy. I’ve also got my photos here to go through so that will help bring back the positive memories, so stay tuned.

Oh and in case you’re wondering, Air Canada will only compensate Chris for $100 towards “essentials” like undies, socks, a few clothing items and personal care products that he needed to buy while we were in the US, and equipment rentals at Whistler, which as I’ve explained before is nearly impossible for him because most of his gear is custom sized. I will get nothing – not even my short-term parking coverage. I didn’t even get a call to say my luggage was there. It was just my own (returning?) luck that I found it when I stopped in to look, again.


  1. Ramin says:

    I was in the exact same situation/plane as you! I cant find out if my bag is here yet and the reference number is pretty much useless. and the call centre even worse. I was wondering if you could tell me how I can get back into the airport to get the bag and maybe the location where our flights luggage was. I am a student and all my stuff was in that suitcase so I am out of luck. Thanks for the help and glad to hear you got your luggage and can finally relax after that ridiculously hectic flight. WestJet next time :D?

  2. admin says:

    Ok so it’s actually easy to get in and look for your bags – just go to Terminal 1 and make your way to domestic arrivals. You’ll need to bring your boarding pass (and you might as well bring your missing luggage claim document too) and walk through the arrivals exit – the security people will waive you through when you show them your boarding pass and let them you know you’re searching for your luggage. They have hundreds of unclaimed bags in the area so I’m sure they’re happy to let you search yourself. I just handed my lost luggage document to the baggage claim rep at the desk, without lining up, and said I found it (this was recommended to me by one of the guys sorting the luggage). Good luck!!

  3. annette larkin says:

    What if your bags were misplaced in Toronto or Ottawa, on a flight from Japan to the US and Air Canada is claiming they have sent the bags to the US, but they never arrived? I have no way of looking for lost baggage in the Toronto airport when I live in the Washington, DC area, so is there a customs official phone number to call at these airports?

  4. admin says:

    Honestly, I really don’t know Annette. Good luck.

  5. yvr and air canada, you guys suck for biiiig time says:

    It is like a joke, air canada cancelled our flight and told us that we will get another one pricisiley 6 hours later with same stops. Then 3 hours later, all of a sudden we were in another flight which was set on totally different stops and unfortunately there was “no time” for them to transfer our luggages in to new flight. So the luggeges would be in our final destination either a bit earlier than us or latest following day via a earliest possible flight, because they labelled all of the luggages with “urgent delivery” stickers.

    here i’m in ankara, the capital city of turkey, though i made them send 4 messagaes to yvr lost luggage services and additionally tried to call them from here myself (both air canada and yvr), the result is no answer, no luggage,and no info at all.

    this is the 4th day of my holiday here in a beautiful hotel room in the heart of Ankara and I’m still waiting with same shoes, same pants, and same socks… ohh by the way the word “socks” remind me your performence air canada and yvr… yeah you guys suck, suck for biiiig time…

Comments are closed.