1The grandpa and grandson who took a flight to the wrong Sydney
What would you do if you thought you were going to Australia and ended up in Canada?
It was definitely a long-haul flight for Joannes and Nick Rutten, a grandfather and his grandson from Amsterdam, Netherlands, who planned to take their holiday in Sydney… Australia.
But when their plane landed and they made their way toward Customs and Immigration, something seemed a bit amiss.
The pair weren't in Sydney, Australia; they'd landed in Sydney, Nova Scotia, located on the east coast of Cape Breton Island, in Canada.
2The couple who booked flights but were turned away because their ticket was from the wrong Birmingham Airport
A couple accidentally booked a cheap flight to the Caribbean from the wrong Birmingham Airport – 4,000 miles away.
Kevin Jones and his partner, Jeanette, were thrilled when they bagged two return flights to Trinidad for just £800, but when they arrived at the West Midlands hub, they were told their American Airlines flight was actually taking off from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport – the biggest in the U.S. state of Alabama. They had no choice but to get their car out of long term parking and drive home.
Despite the 4,200-mile distance between them, the two airports do have some similarities. They are a similar size and both went into service around the same time - the UK's version was commissioned in 1928, while flights began at the U.S. airport in the same year.
3The drunk flyer who took the wrong flight without a boarding pass
In a bizarre sequence of events that amounts to a serious breach of security, a 37-year-old man who did not have an airline boarding pass managed to clear three security checkpoints and fly from Mumbai to Rajkot on a Jet Airways flight in April 2014.
The man was supposed to take a flight to Nagpur, but boarded the one to Rajkot, after leaving behind his boarding pass at the airport. After he reached Rajkot, he realized he had flown to the wrong destination and informed Jet officials. The airline remained clueless till then.
The incident occurred on April 25 after Liju Verghese landed in Mumbai airport from an international flight. He was booked for an onward journey to Nagpur and was supposed to board the Jet Airways flight 9W 2165. Verghese, who was reportedly in an inebriated state, cleared the CISF security check at the Mumbai airport. With a security-stamped boarding pass and a handbag, he then proceeded to the security hold area to wait for the boarding announcement. Meanwhile, a boarding call was made for the JetKonnect Mumbai-Rajkot flight 9W 4079. The passengers were to board the Rajkot flight using an aerobridge.
That's when things spiraled into a different direction. The man left behind his handbag, which also contained his boarding pass and for some reason, he proceeded to board the flight to Rajkot.
It was after the flight landed and the passenger disembarked and found himself in Rajkot instead of Nagpur that the airline realized what had happened. Meanwhile, the Mumbai-Nagpur flight that he was supposed to board departed, but not before discovering that one passenger who had checked in had not reported for boarding. His check-in bags were removed from the aircraft and left at Mumbai airport for a security check. That was the only thing that went as per the laid-down security norms.
4The two-year-old in Germany who boarded a plane to Egypt by herself
A two-year-old girl managed to sneak onto a plane to Egypt after running off from her parents at a German airport. The parents of two-year-old Ana Miele raised the alarm as soon as they noticed she was missing as they were about to board their flight to Tunisia at Nuremberg Airport.
Air traffic control put out an alert to pilots after a search of the airport failed to locate the child, and a stewardess on the Egypt bound flight reported a short while later that the two-year-old had taken a seat on her plane. "She took a seat as good as gold and strapped herself in. No one had any idea that she was alone," the stewardess said. The plane, which was about to take off, had to abort its start and the girl was returned to her parents.
5The Vietnamese plane that landed in the wrong city
We've all done it at some point – taken a wrong turn at a roundabout and ended up in an entirely wrong place, or put too much faith in the car GPS, and found ourselves many miles from our planned destination, wondering how we could have been so stupid. However, few of us are airline pilots who make our living flying in the competitive south-east Asian market and few of us have done what the crew of a Vietnamese Airbus A320 did in June 2014 – landing the flight at the wrong airport, over 60 miles from where it should have been.
All staff who were on Flight VJ8861 – operated by budget carrier VietJet Air – were suspended after the aircraft touched down at Cam Ranh airport, near Nha Trang City – a popular holiday resort on Vietnam's east coast.
The plane was scheduled to land at Lien Khuong Airport, near Da Lat City, which sits a full 62 miles west of Nha Trang – and nowhere near the sea – in Vietnam's Central Highlands.
The aircraft was carrying 180 passengers – all of whom had to be transferred on a second flight.
6The man who sued an airline after landing in Grenada rather than Granada
When a North Bethesda, Maryland, dentist planned a trip to Portugal for a conference in 2013, he decided he'd quickly swing by Granada, Spain, to see the famed Alhambra and other historical sites.
Carrier British Airways had other ideas however, and instead sent Edward Gamson and his partner to Grenada — with an E — in the Caribbean, by way of London, no less.
Gamson, who said he clearly told the British Airways agent over the phone he was going to Granada, Spain, didn't notice the mistake because his e-tickets did not contain the airport code or the duration of the trip. It was only 20 minutes after departure from a stopover in London that he looked at the in-flight map and asked the flight attendant, "Why are we headed west to go to Spain?"
“His response was: 'Spain? We're going to West Indies,' ” Gamson said.
After nearly three days of transit, Gamson just barely made it to the conference, but his vacation was ruined: He's out the more than 375,000 frequent-flier miles he used to book his first-class tickets, and he said the airline was less than helpful.
British Airways offered him and his partner $376 each and 50,000 frequent flyer miles, Gamson said, but he figured the pre-booked hotels, trains and other tours they had planned cost upward of $34,000. So he sued the airline, and he's representing himself.
7The two families who wrongly boarded a plane to Latvia instead of Spain
Ryanair is investigating how two families were allowed to board the wrong flight at East Midlands Airport.
In July 2014, the six passengers were accidentally put on a flight to Latvia when they were meant to be flying to Spain. One of the passengers claims it highlighted a "massive" security risk, saying he "could have been a terrorist or anything." Ryanair apologized for the mistakes and said it will ensure a similar incident does not happen again.
The families, from Cannock in Staffordshire and Rotherham in South Yorkshire, did not know each other before the mix-up. They were taken off the plane before it departed, but were unable to board the correct flight at an adjacent gate.
8The airline that left a passenger 300 miles from home after putting her onto an incorrect flight
You can normally assume – after all the ticket checks and security procedures – if you are allowed onto an aircraft, it is the plane that will be taking you to your destination. This was not the case for a Scottish holidaymaker who found herself 300 miles from home in July 2014 after low-cost carrier Jet2 dropped her in the wrong country. This mistake led to red faces at the airline – and a long taxi ride for the weary tourist.
Stacey McGuinness, 27, from Dundee, had just enjoyed a ten-day break in Turkey with her family. She was due to fly home from Dalaman, and was booked on a Jet2 flight to Glasgow. Three hours later, she found herself not just at the wrong airport, but in the wrong country, after the plane landed at Leeds-Bradford Airport.
The confusion began at Dalaman Airport. The departure sign said to go to gate 33 for the flight to Glasgow, but when she went to the gate it was marked with the destination Leeds-Bradford.
When she asked the agents at the desk, she was informed “this is the right one." She asked them to check again just before boarding, but they reassured her she was in the right place.
Despite being told that she was on the right flight, Stacey's nightmare was confirmed when the captain told passengers they were just one hour from touching down in England.
When the plane landed, Stacey met a Jet2 manager, who apologized for the mistake. Her luggage was nowhere to be seen.
The airline decided to call for a taxi to take her on a five-hour journey back to Dundee, but Stacey said the gesture was not enough. She still hasn't received her baggage, and she is now looking compensation for her whole ordeal.
9The unacompanied nine year old who got off a plane in the wrong city
It was a mother's worst nightmare – her daughter ended up in the wrong city during a trip to see relatives for the holidays.
In December 2011, nine-year-old Chloe Boyce was supposed to fly from Nashville to New York to see her grandparents. Her mother says the plane was scheduled to make stops in Columbus and Baltimore along the way, but her daughter wasn't supposed to get off the plane until arriving in New York.
Elena Kerr put her daughter on a Southwest Airlines plane at Nashville International. The little girl was to be picked up by her aunt at LaGuardia Airport in New York, where she planned to spend Christmas.
In Baltimore, Kerr said an airline employee took her daughter off the plane to re-book her. Kerr says she knew nothing about it until her sister, waiting at LaGuardia Airport, called her when Chloe didn't get off the plane.
Frantic, Kerr contacted Southwest, but it was nearly an hourly before the airline figured out where her daughter was. Chloe was supposed to travel from Nashville to Columbus to Baltimore and onto New York but fog forced the plane to make a pit stop in Cleveland first.
In Baltimore, Chloe was forced to change planes because of the delay and no one from Southwest called the family.
What was supposed to be a four-hour trip turned into a nine-hour nightmare before Chloe finally arrived in New York.
A spokesman for Southwest Airlines admitted the situation was not handled as it should have been and the family was reimbursed for the ticket and issued another travel voucher.