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TikToker upset after Air Canada leaves him in the dark about lost $16,000 bike


An American TikToker and competitive triathlete is upset after his $16,000 bike went missing during an Air Canada flight from Europe to Montreal last week.

Noel Mulkey competed in the IRONMAN World Championships in Nice, France, on Sept. 10 and brought his TREK bike with him for the event.

The 28-year-old said the airline lost the pricey bike and he and his mom have been on the phone for the past six days trying to find out why it didn't make it on the Sept. 12 flight. Frustrated by a lack of answers after multiple calls, he said he posted videos about the ordeal for his 1.5 million TikTok followers to put pressure on Canada's largest airline to locate his bike. The videos have more than 380,000 views combined.

The bike was packed in a large, green storage box that he takes with him on long-haul flights around the world, making the disappearance all the more confusing, he said.

"How do you miss that? It's a giant, green box," he said in an interview on Monday.

@noelmulk0 @Air Canada literally this is unacceptable !! PLEASE BOOST FRIENDS! THEY LITERALLY LOST MY BIKE!! #greenscreen ♬ Suspenseful and tense orchestra(1318015) - SoLaTiDo

He said he stayed in Nice for a few extra days of vacation after the Sept. 10 competition, and that his parents checked the green box for him when they returned home before him.

The bike box that carries Noel Mulkey's $16,000 bike. (Submitted photo)

After calling Air Canada customer service, he had high hopes that he would get the bike delivered on Monday. Air Canada gave him a tracking number for a FedEx delivery, but when it arrived at his home, it was just the racing wheels of the bike, which he packed separately. The bike frame and two training wheels that are in the green box haven't been returned. 

"Now, we're really mad because we thought that it was gonna show up, it was resolved," he said, adding that calling Air Canada for help has been an uphill battle.

"We call them and they'll kind of give us the runaround. They'll say we're gonna go through the emails, they put us on hold and then on hold, [the call] disconnects. So we'll be on hold for, like, an hour or whatever and then disconnects, and then we have to go through the whole process again," he explained.

Noel Mulkey says Air Canada lost his $16,000 bike on a flight from Nice, France to Montreal on Sept. 12, 2023. (Submitted photo)

CTV News reached out to Air Canada for comment. In an email sent Monday evening, the airline said the bike arrived in Montreal "and is set to be delivered to the customer shortly."

"We regret the delay, however there were other carriers involved transporting it. We will follow up with the customer directly," the company said.

Reached again late Monday, Mulkey said he still hadn't heard from the airline.

"I have not seen anything and we didn't get a call. And my reaction is I don't understand why that was so difficult, like the last five days to let us know where it is. And they let you guys know instantly," he said.

Noel Mulkey brought his bike to France to compete in the IRONMAN World Championships. (Submitted photo)

There has been no shortage of social media posts and news stories about complaints from passengers regarding Canadian airlines over the past several months about everything from lost luggage, to flight delays, and cancellations. One woman said she was asked to sit on a vomit-covered seat on an Air Canada flight from Las Vegas to Montreal last month.

Mulkey said he travels the globe often as an athlete and has lost his bike once on a Qantas flight, but he got it back within a few days.

"This is my job … I have flown all over the world and never had an experience like this with any airline ever. Just this year alone, I've been to Africa, Australia, Europe. I've been with this bike, and I've never had a problem," he said.

His mother, Karen Mulkey, said she was told by an Air Canada employee earlier in the day on Monday that the bike box was actually still in Nice, after being told otherwise previously.

"I've been quite frustrated. I mean, it's my son's livelihood … it's not a black suitcase. It's a big, green box. And it's just sitting there, and I can't get help from either end to know for sure, like, confirmation of what's going to happen next," she said.

Mulkey said he usually puts an AirTag — a battery-operated Bluetooth tracking device made by Apple — into the bike box so that he could track its location in case it gets lost, but this time he forgot to do it.

"It didn't make it into the bike bag," he said, "and it's the time we needed it." Top Stories

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