Air Canada Horrible Travel Story… Help Me

I was selected to represent Canada at the Pan American Badminton Championships this past week in Havana, Cuba. I flew from Calgary to Havana (connecting through Toronto) on May 25th, 2017. Unfortunately, when I arrived my bag did not arrive with me. This was very stressful because I had badminton equipment I needed for competition in that bag. However, I was told that the bag was still in Toronto and would be arriving on the next flight into Havana the following day. This did not happen, and I was once again told it would be coming the following day. Again it did not come, this process repeated itself for 4 days, until I was finally told my bag had arrived at the Havana airport and that I needed to go pick it up. During this time, the Pan American Championships had begun and I was forced to borrow clothing and equipment from friends, which had a very negative effect on my performance. I decided to take a cab costing $40 CAD to the airport in order to pickup my lost bag. I had the impression that this will just be a matter of proving my identity and taking my bag. However, this was not the case.

When I arrived I was redirected around the airport to multiple different locations for an hour, as no one knew where to send me to pickup my bag. Finally, I was told to go to the lost and found. The lost and found was indoors, but had a security guard at the entrance that only let 5 people in per hour. I was told that an Air Canada agent would come down to the lost and found to assist me. I waited for 30 minutes and still no sign of an Air Canada agent, however I was assured someone was on their way. Another hour passed until I was finally told that in fact, no Air Canada agents were in the airport at all until the following day. This led to a long argument and I was told that if I waited in the line with the public I could look for my lost bag.

Due to this, I was forced to wait outside in the Cuban sun for approximately 3 hours before getting let in, which led to bad sunburns, as no Air Canada representative was at the airport to assist me. I would have left and come back, however this was a quieter time at the airport and the $40 CAD taxi rides each direction deterred me from leaving without my bag, as it was extremely important that I received my bag. After 3 long hours, I was finally let in and they agreed to let search through the Air Canada lost baggage. My bag was not there. The airport staff then booted me outside once again and I was left on my own. I was then forced to take a $40 cab back to my hotel, while dehydrated and with painful sunburns, without my bag.

I have called the Air Canada lost baggage line on multiple occasions with upwards of one hour hold times, when I do get an answer the Air Canada staff have told me that my bag is still in Cuba. However, they are still not able to track down the exact location of the bag. At this point it has been three weeks and still no sign of my bag. The Air Canada agents have told me that my bag will be sent back to Calgary, but they still do not have any proof that the bag is ACTUALLY in Cuba.

Furthermore, I have tried to submit a claim and I have been told I will need to wait 8 weeks to get a response from Air Canada. I feel I have tried everything and I have not gotten one call or email from Air Canada regarding my bag since it has been missing. This is unacceptable since my bag has all my good clothing and competition wear. As a University student, I can’t afford to get new clothes right now, and I am extremely upset with the service that Air Canada has provided to a fellow Canadian athlete. I was looking forward to this competition for months, and this whole experience was super disappointing, and really made my life a living hell while in Cuba. If there is anything else I can do to get some attention or speed up this process, I would love to hear it! Thanks!

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