Diane Bomans, a distinguished Saskatoon-based cyclist recently encountered a severe setback when her high-performance bike suffered catastrophic damage during an Air Canada flight. Bomans, fresh from competing at the UCI World Gran Fondo in Scotland, a part of the world’s largest cycling event, discovered the significant damage when her bike arrived, belatedly, to her home city.
Upon first laying eyes on the bag that contained her bike, Bomans admitted that she was taken aback. “I could only imagine what was on the inside,” she mused, contemplating the extent of the damage that could befall such a rugged piece of equipment. The bike, designed to endure high-intensity impacts and the inevitable crashes that come with high-speed races, seemed to have met its match in the form of its ill-fated transit on the aircraft.
Sarah Robbins, a seasoned sales executive and bike buyer at Bike Doctor, the local repair shop tasked with assessing the damage, was equally stunned. She likened the severe damage to the bike being run over by the plane. Minor scuffs and slightly bent derailers are common, but this, Robbins shared, was the worst she had ever encountered.
Bomans’ attempts to claim compensation for the damage were quickly shut down. Two weeks later, she received an email from Air Canada denying her claim based on the nature of her item and how it was packed. The airline highlighted that bikes needed to be carefully placed with handlebars fixed sideways and pedals removed, in a hard shell container. For Bomans, this was new information. Rugged soft cases, she explained, were the norm among her racing peers.
Bomans now faces a loss amounting to $10,000 in damaged cycling equipment, for which she holds Air Canada responsible. However, her foresight in having taken out insurance coverage for potential race-related accidents bailed her out from the financial calamity. Bomans shares that she had taken out insurance in the event of a crash during her road races, covering her high-value bike.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) urged individuals to discuss their coverage limits on their home policy with their insurance brokers and consider additional coverage for valuable items like high-end bicycles.
SGI assured Bomans that they would cover her bike damage expenses, regardless of Air Canada’s decision. Bomans expressed her understanding for human error but remains frustrated at the airline’s refusal to take responsibility for the damaged bike. Bomans believes that taking responsibility for such mistakes and making things right is an integral part of rectifying such situations.