These days, it seems like you can’t even browse flights online without getting ripped off by commercial airlines. That’s why in March, when Dutch teenager Milan Schipper spied a cheap flight from his native Amsterdam to Sydney, his dream destination down under, he jumped onboard right away. But Schipper ended up in a small Canadian town instead of Sydney, Australia. So what went wrong?
“Well, let’s book that one,” Schipper told the CBC he remembered thinking when came across the $300 continent-crossing round-trip ticket to what he believed was the Australian coastal city. “I thought I was going to Australia, but that turned out a little different.”
Indeed, Schipper’s trip veered off course when, stopped over in Toronto en route to his final destination, he noticed the size of the aircraft designated to ferry him across the Pacific. “The plane was really small and so I figured, would that make it to Australia?” he recalled.
Despite his reservations, the 18-year-old carried on, buckling in for the long haul halfway around the world. Less than three hours later, Schipper touched down in Sydney. Nova Scotia, Canada, that is.
“I felt terrible,” said Schipper of his mistake. “I think I [swore] in my head for like 10 minutes.”
Facing near-blizzard conditions and wearing only a T-shirt, sweatpants, and a light jacket, the world-weary traveler explained the embarrassing situation to airport staff and immediately booked it back home. (Too bad he didn’t stick around for a minute — Sydney, Nova Scotia is home to the world’s largest fiddle!)
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time globetrotters craving a little “shrimp on the barbie” were met instead by the delicious lobster of Sydney’s distant Canadian cousin instead. Two British teenagers, an Argentinian sculptor, a pair of flying Dutchmen, and an Italian couple have all been taken for a ride by this too-good-to-be-true deal over the last 15 years.
Lucky for Schipper, news of his ~adventurous~ accidental trip has traveled quickly, and travel offers are rolling in. Indeed, an airline has already offered to fly him to Australia free of charge. But the jet-lagged teen is doubtful he will accept the first-class treatment.
“Yeah, [it’s] really nice,” he said. “But I’m not really sure if I’m going to go again.”