I flew up to Vancouver Saturday morning on United and haphazardly left my camera under my seat in 2D. While relaxing in the Maple Leaf Lounge about an hour after touching down in YVR, I suddenly had a sinking feeling in my stomach that my camera wasn’t in my bag. Sure enough, it wasn’t. I walked over to the United gates and spoke with a gate agent who confirmed that my camera had been found. There was a problem though: the captain had taken the camera with him! He was supposed to have dropped it off at the UA lost and found office near baggage claim, but a call downstairs revealed that no camera had been turned in.
The two UA ladies who helped me out were very diligent and immediately began to try to locate the captain. They called the crew desk and found that he was staying at the Fairmont hotel right at the airport. They placed a call to his room, but there was no answer. I had about two hours before my flight to Denver so the agents advised me to return to the Maple Leaf Lounge and they would get back to me if they reached the captain.
The two hours rolled by (props to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge BTW for offering delicious salads and soups) and I returned to the United gates to catch my flight to Denver, hoping that they would have my camera. Unfortunately, the pilot was not picking up–perhaps he had some Olympic tickets. The agents apologized, took down all my information, and promised to keep me updated.
The camera, a Cannon Digital Rebel, was replaceable, but the pictures on it from my trip to Fiji earlier in the week were not, so I was not smiling as I boarded my flight. I could have stuck around YVR until the captain was reached, but I did not think that would do any good. I was promised a call the next day with an update.
Sunday came and went with no contact from UA. I began to fear that I would never see the camera again.
This morning I received a call from a blocked number while I was in class. Turns out it was my SFO-YVR pilot who had taken the camera. He apologized for the mix-up but did not leave me feeling any better. He stated that while going through customs and immigration in Canada he was asked if he was transporting anything that did not belong to him. He held up my camera bag and explained a passenger had left it onboard and that he was supposed to drop it off in the baggage claim office, but there was no one there. The border patrol agent confiscated the camera and promised, according to the Captain, to get it to United.
About an hour later I received a call from UA at YVR saying they had the camera and were going to mail it to me. Whew.
All’s well that ends well, I suppose, but I feel like a fool for leaving the camera onboard in the first place. Thankfully, UA has located it. Let’s hope my pictures haven’t been erased or the camera doesn’t get destroyed in transit from YVR to Southern California.
Tip: When the FA makes an announcement telling you to check your seat area for your belongings, do it.