Monday 5 August 2002

The funnyiest thing you're likely to read today

Britons fly to 'wrong' Sydney
Source: BBC News Online

An internet booking mix-up has left a young English couple holidaying in chilly Sydney, Nova Scotia, instead of on the sun-kissed beaches of the Australian city of the same name.
Emma Nunn, of Sidcup, Kent, and Raoul Christian, of Charlton, south east London, both 19, bought their tickets from an online travel agent for £740 each.

But after a six-hour flight from London's Heathrow Airport, their flight landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Realising they were in eastern Canada, the couple assumed they were "going the long way" because they had booked at the last minute and would soon be arriving in Sydney, Australia.

Mr Christian described the experience as "really, really confusing".

"We thought 'OK, we are going to wait here and a big plane is going to turn up and take us to Australia'.

"But it did not quite happen that way."

The passengers were asked to board a 25-seater plane.

And after just more than an hour they landed in sleepy Sydney, Cape Breton Island, off the north eastern coast of Canada.

The former-mining town has a population of just 26,083 and one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada.

Airline officials are arranging for the couple to return to London.

But, in true British fashion, the pair are not ready to write off their summer holiday just yet.

"Obviously it is a big disappointment," Ms Nunn conceded.

"But after it sank in we both said 'let's make the most of what we've got around us'."

They said they were enjoying looking at the pick-up trucks, and eating the local lobster.

Airport officials said they had sometimes received luggage destined for Sydney, Australia before - but never people.