Bloke missed trip of a lifetime after accidentally flying to the wrong Sydney
A hapless bloke accidentally missed the trip of a lifetime to Australia by flying to the wrong Sydney.
Kingsley Burnett, from New York, US was hoping to hop on a cruise he had paid for and enjoy some sunny weather down under when he boarded his flight.
Instead, the 62-year-old was met with snow capped mountains and icy temperatures of just 2C.
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As it happens, Kingsley had booked and caught a flight to the tiny town of Sidney in the US state of Montana, which has less than 7000 residents, instead of the Australian city of Sydney, which has a population of 5.3million.
“I saw a mountaintop covered in white snow. At that point, I knew I was in trouble,” Mr Burnett told local TV station KTVQ.
The New Yorker said that he made the mistake after misreading the three-letter airport codes used to identify flight destinations.
“It's a matter of acronyms. The S-Y-D as opposed to S-D-Y. Somebody has to fix that,” he said.
He also said he hadn't noticed the price difference as he was travelling on a tight budget and thought he had landed a bargain ticket to the other side of the world.
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Flights from New York typically cost $500 (Around £415) to Sidney but $2,000 (around 1,660) to Sydney.
The two similarly named cities are separated by seven time zones.
Flights to Sidney, Montana from New York still require a connection and can take between nine and 25 hours, which helps to explain how Kingsley didn't realise the mistake until he arrived.
Kingsley stayed in a hotel, where a manager explained that the Sidney/Sydney mixup was more common than expected.
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“This is the second time we've had a guest that was trying to get to Sydney, Australia,” manager Sheila Mann said.
He managed to get on a plane back to New York thanks to Carol Castellano of American Airlines.
"Montana didn't have kangaroos. It had Carol. And that was good enough for me," Kingsley said.
While he has now rescheduled his once-in-a-lifetime trip for June, he says he will now focus on making sure his final destination is correct, rather than on getting the best value for money.
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