Thanks to airline mix-ups or dodgy satnavs, travellers, including members of the aristocracy, occasionally end up at the wrong destination altogether.
La Plagne, SW France
50 Belgium holidaymakers were left bemused upon arriving at La Plagne earlier this year, and for good reason. They were looking at La Plagne, southwest France, as opposed to the famous Alpine resort now 400 miles away.
The skiers’ unintentional destination was lovely, they later said, but palpably lacking in snow. Blaming a GPS blunder, their driver explained simply: “there are three entries for La Plagne in France, and I selected the wrong one.” C’est la vie.
You’d think that Monique Rozanes Torres Aguero would have clocked that she wasn’t en route to Sydney, Australia, as planned upon transferring to a propeller plane in somewhere called Halifax.
Apparently not. It was only when the Argentinian landed in Nova Scotia’s Sydney—a small coal and steel-mill town—that alarm bells began a-ringing.
Even more worryingly, she wasn’t the first. Six years earlier, two Britons also landed in Cape Breton expecting to see the Emerald City.
Most people would be delighted to touch down on a paradisiacal Caribbean island like Grenada. Not so Dr. Edward Gamson in 2013. The American dentist and his partner were bound for medieval Granada, Spain, in fulfilment of a lifelong dream.
Not noticing a British Airways ticketing error, they ended up in the wrong continent entirely. Sympathy wasn’t forthcoming from a Washington judge, however, who threw out Gamson’s $32,000 claim for damages.
Poor old Maria Nieves. After being mistakenly wheeled onto a Southwest Airlines flight to New Orleans, Louisiana, instead of Tampa, Florida, in 2011, the disabled 85-year-old would have been forgiven for thinking aviation lightning couldn’t strike twice.
Oh, but it could. Two years later, Nieves was again taken to the wrong gate, where Southwest staff once more failed to notice her incorrect ticket and she ended up in Pittsburgh. Just 1,200 odd miles away from her intended destination of Florida. Third time lucky?
Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire
Image via East Riding of Yorkshire Society
Leaving the family estate in Northamptonshire, in 2008, a teenage daughter—spokespeople never revealed which one—of Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, was looking forward to watching Chelsea’s footballers play at their Stamford Bridge home ground in London.
Alas, her taxi driver’s errant sat nav had other ideas, instead sending the unspecified Lady to the Yorkshire village of Stamford Bridge, far away from Frank Lampard and co.
West Bank, Israel
Don’t you hate accidentally ending up in a war zone? That fate befell two Japanese tourists to Israel in 2002 when, hoping to visit Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, they were dropped off in Palestine’s West Bank by a local cabbie.
So engrossed in their guidebooks were Yuji Nakano and Mina Takahashi that the pair ambled along to a quite-different church: one at the centre of an Israeli siege. After noticing newsmen in flak jackets and bullet-ridden buildings, the pair quickly legged it.
Last year, Ghanaian man Emmanuel Akomanyi landed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on his journey to Guyana—a South American country up on the Caribbean coast—where he was to study medicine after receiving a prestigious scholarship.
Alas Emmanuel’s next flight didn’t transport him to Guyana as planned, but rather to the central Brazilian city of Goiânia, over 1,800 miles away.
Puzzled and penniless, he ended up staying a week thanks to the support of kindly Goiânian strangers.