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Athlete’s $16,000 Bicycle Disappears on Air Canada Flight; Takes to Social Media for Help

An American competitive triathlete has taken to social media for help after his $16,000 bike went missing during an Air Canada flight from Europe to Montreal on Sept. 12.

Noel Mulkey, 28, took the bike to compete in the Ironman World Championships, held in Nice, France, in September.

He and his mother have spent much of the last week making phone calls to Air Canada in an attempt to locate the missing Trek bike.

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Following numerous fruitless and exasperating calls to Air Canada, Mr. Mulkey decided to take advantage of his substantial 1.5 million TikTok follower base to raise the issue of his missing competition bike and put Air Canada under pressure to respond. He also posted his remonstration on YouTube.

His videos together have so far received over 380,000 views.

Mr. Mulkey explained in a video interview with CTV News that he always packs the bike in a large bright green purpose-designed storage case. “How do you miss that? It’s a giant, green box,” he said.

Following the competition in Nice, Mr. Mulkey decided he would stay in Europe a few days longer while his parents flew back home. It was his parents who arranged to fly the bike back to Canada. On arrival at Montreal airport on Sept. 12, they discovered the bike had not arrived.

Mr. Mulkey’s many long calls to Air Canada led him to believe his bike would arrive by Sept. 18. However, the package for which Air Canada had provided a tracking number turned out to be only the bicycle’s racing wheels.

In a statement, Air Canada said the bike had arrived in Montreal and was set to be delivered to Mr. Mulkey, adding that there were other carriers involved in the bike’s transfer. Mr. Mulkey said in all his years in competition, the bike had never been lost.

“I have flown all over the world and never had an experience like this with any airline ever,” he said. “Just this year alone, I’ve been to Africa, Australia, Europe. I’ve been with this bike, and I’ve never had a problem.”

His mother, Karen Mulkey, said she’d also had conflicting information from the airline about the bike’s whereabouts.

“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 told CTV News.

Mr. Mulkey regretted not using his Apple AirTag tracking device on this occasion, something he usually does to keep tabs on his bike while he travels.

As of the evening of Sept. 19, Mr. Mulkey had still not received delivery of his bike.

“My bike is still not back yet,” he said in a post, finishing with a crying emoji.

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