US man wants to go to Sydney, Australia. He gets on a plane to Sidney, Montana instead

Mr Kingsley Burnett said he was trying to save money when purchasing his tickets and should have paid close attention.
PHOTO: Reuters

NEW YORK —  It was supposed to be a dream holiday for Mr Kingsley Burnett, who has been looking forward to a cruise holiday departing from Sydney, Australia.

However, the New Yorker got the shock of his life when he saw snow-capped mountains instead of sunny beaches.

"I saw a mountain top covered in white snow... At that point, I knew I was in trouble," the 62-year-old Burnett told TV station KTVQ after he realised he booked and caught the wrong flight to the tiny town of Sidney in Montana rather than the Australian city.

His concerns were confirmed when his plane arrived in Billings, a city in southern Montana where a small plane was waiting to take him to Sidney.

How did the mix-up happened? Mr Burnett attributed it to the airport codes.

"It's a matter of acronyms. The S-Y-D as opposed to S-D-Y. Somebody has to fix that," he said, referring to the airport codes used for the Australian city and Sidney in Montana respectively.

Mr Burnett also said he was trying to save money when purchasing his tickets, and admitted that he was surprised by the cheap airfares, adding that on hindsight, he should have paid close attention to the final destination instead.

As there is no way he could have made it to his cruise on time, he ended up booking a room in the Boothill Inn to wait for his flight home and rescheduled his Australian trip to June.

The manager of the hotel, Ms Shelli Mann, said this is not the first time such mix-up has happened.

"This is the second time we've had a guest that was trying to get to Sydney, Australia," she told KTVQ.

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.