Vernon traveller makes it to France, but AirTag shows bike stuck in Seattle

Bike 'lost' in plain sight

Bill Sanders knows where his bike is — he just can't get it.

That's because he's in Europe, and his bike is stuck at SeaTac Airport.

Sanders and his wife, former MLA April Sanders, hopped on a plane on March 11, bound for France.

Their itinerary was Kelowna to Seattle, Seattle to London Heathrow and Heathrow to Marseilles via Alaska Airlines and British Airways.

Sanders says his bike, contained in a "beautiful bike bag" never made it out of SeaTac.

"I placed an Apple AirTag in the bag, and have been nervously watching it as it languishes in the Seattle Airport now for two weeks," Sanders said in an email Tuesday.

He says he filed a lost baggage claim with BA immediately and has been phoning them daily ever since.

"I'm almost on a first name basis with the nice people at BA lost baggage, but they always say the same thing: 'We've sent a message to the airport and they're looking for it,'" he says.

"The funny thing is, with an AirTag, you can see exactly where it is to within a few metres (the tags are a mixed blessing or maybe a curse because you see the item but can't do anything about it!)."

His bike been sitting in the main terminal near Gate A4, according to the tag.

Sanders says going public is his "last option" in hopes of getting some action on the matter, and he says his story is "applicable to anyone who travels."

"The good folks at BA say they can't contact anyone directly at the airport, but they helpfully provide various numbers 'to try.' Two of the numbers were for the SeaTac Lost and Found, but they won't do anything unless the item is delivered directly to them.

"I was given a number to try from the Seattle information desk which turned out to be a guy who delivers the fuel to BA planes!

"Several of the numbers I was given were out of service, and the main numbers to BA in the U.S., Europe or anywhere else for that matter all say the same thing: 'due to high call volumes, we are unable to answer the phone at this time – please try again later.'

"I've tried again later more than 30 times."

Sanders says a retired lawyer friend somehow managed to get the email address of the CEO of British Airways and sent "a somewhat humorous entreaty to please find the bag." No response.

Meanwhile, his brother-in-law is driving to Seattle "in the generous but probably misguided hope that he can, with boots on the ground, locate a sympathetic and not otherwise occupied BA employee to aid in the search."

Sanders admits it's a long shot and says "it's amazing the trust we all put in airlines with our personal effects, hoping that they will a) take care of them and b) deliver them as they are legally contracted to do. In my case however, the bike bag is lost in plain sight."

He says so many people have had their luggage misplaced that AirTags are becoming common – "it's great to see where your luggage is, but it's another thing entirely to get it back!"

More Vernon News