When Kingsley Burnett decided to spend a vacation in Sydney, he never thought that he would be booking a ticket to Montana rather than Australia. But this is exactly what happened to this New Yorker- who accidentally booked the tickets to Sidney, Montana. Luckily, he was such a good sport that he also shared some pictures of his accidental journey. Speaking to the media, Burnett stated that after he departed La Guardia on the 26th of January, he had actually landed in Billings, Montana. Burnett didn’t think much about it since this was a common location for those traveling to Sidney, Montana. The real issue was the letter ‘i’ that has no place in Sydney, Australia.
Mr. Burnett went on to lament, “I had to find out for myself that Billings, Montana, would only take me to Sidney, Montana, where there are no Kangaroos waiting to welcome Mr. Burnett.” In fact, Burnett had an inkling that he was probably going to the wrong place when he saw the size of the plane that he was supposed to travel in. He stated, “I saw the little plane with like nine passengers and wondered, ‘How is that going to get me to Australia?’ My story in a bottle ended with Carol Castellano at the American Airlines counter as she tried to send me to the correct place- unfortunately, that turned out to be back to NYC after a night out in Billings. Thanks Carol.” As it turns out, Burnett will be going to Australia on the 13th of June. Good for him!
Traveling to the wrong Syndey. It’s more common than you think.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time such a mistake has occurred. Back in 2002, some young British tourists ended up in Nova Scotia rather than Australia. The 19-year-old tourists, Emma Nunn and Raeoul Sebastian, had purchased their travel tickets from an agent and flew all the way to Halifax. After that, they took a connecting flight to Cape Breton.
Emma was interviewed, and she stated, “As soon as I saw the sign ‘Sydney, Canada,’ I knew that obviously it can’t be a mistake…I knew we couldn’t be going to get on another plane. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re in Canada.’”
Just a few years later, in 2009, the Daily Mail published an article with the headline, “Dopey Dutch pair set off Down Under and end up in Sydney…Canada.” Grandfather Joannes Rutten and his grandson managed to land in Nova Scotia- when they were actually trying to get to Australia. An Air Canada employee quite rightfully observed, “They arrived with no money. All they had was Australian money.” Just like the mishap from 2002, the pair had booked their trip from a Dutch travel agency- so it is not clear if this was the mistake of the travelers or the agency itself.
The main question that stands is- how could the mistake be repeated so many times? In fact, the travelers themselves should have checked their tickets before they got on the flight- for they were usually realizing their mistake after reaching their final destination or at a connecting airport. In most cases, there has been mention of a travel agent. This could be one of the main reasons why people have been ending up at the wrong Sydney- as they previously used to put all of their faith and belief in the competence of the agent.
So the story’s moral is this: If you’d like to travel to Sydney, Australia, get your Sydneys straight. Now let’s just make sure that the flight I booked to Paris isn’t going to Paris, Texas.
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- “New York man planning vacation to Sydney, Australia accidently books flight to Sidney, Montana.” Fox26 Houston. Austin Williams. February 13, 2023.
- “A Tale Of Two Sydneys: How Many People Have Mistakenly Flown To The Wrong City?” Simpleflying. Chris Loh. July 2, 2022.