Man Goes on Tirade After He Boarded Wrong Plane, Flew to Southern Italy

Passengers aren’t supposed to be able to board the wrong plane. Boarding passes are scanned at the gate. There’s a manifest — airlines know how many people are supposed to be onboard. When passengers are in the wrong seat, there’s usually another passenger assigned that will say something. But it happens. Occasionally one person, or a couple traveling together, wind up in the same city.

Here are 5 times passengers wound up in Sydney, Nova Scotia instead of Sydney, Australia. If nothing else you’d think boarding an Embraer E-175 for what you expect to be a transpacific flight would be a dead giveaway.

And United sent a French woman to San Francisco even though her boarding pass said Paris, flew an 80 year old blind woman to Denver instead of Raleigh, and sent a puppy on a 24 hour journey after boarding the wrong dog to Minneapolis.

Last week a man flew Ryanair to the wrong city — and he’s furious. (HT: Jennifer Billock)

He was supposed to fly from Pisa, Italy to Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, but wound up in Bari in southern Italy instead. He says Ryanair should have stopped him from boarding the wrong plane,

“I went to the wrong gate? And how did you manage to get me through ticket checks?” he can be heard in a viral video shared by fellow passenger Vito Scotella on Twitter. “I have to meet a friend who is sick in Cagliari. I spent 400 euros. I have no money left.”

The man realized he was on the wrong flight as the plane descended to Bari because “the landscape was different from Cagliari.” That’s when he “started insulting the flight assistants arguing they let him pass through the gates.”

Copyright: trevorbenbrook / 123RF Stock Photo

The flight had departed from an apron position. There were two aircraft boarding at the same time. And apparently he got on the wrong one, and no one happened to be assigned to his seat on the other aircraft.

Ryanair for their part points the finger at the ground handling agent in Pisa, rather than taking responsibility for their contractors.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “the landscape was different from Cagliari.”


    ba-durf ba-durf…

    (Hey idiot, try to pay attention when doing important things like getting on a plane)

  2. Does this start to explain how luggage winds up in the wrong city? Or have airlines figured out a way to blame customer or the ground crew for that, and avoid taking responsibility?

  3. It instead of insulting the flight crew maybe the dumbass should learn how to read. Nobody else got on the wrong plane. The flight crew is at fault for taking off with the wrong passenger count though. I remember being on a LH flight and they stopped the plane and had to redo the passenger count to figure out why they are off. If the passenger count doesn’t match the manifest that could be a security issue, especially when there is an extra person on the plane.

  4. I’ve never been on a flight where the final destination wasn’t announced (“Welcome to Flight 1234, with service to Name of City.”). Does Ryanair not do that, or was the guy simply not listening?

  5. @artemis. but it was not his fault. He was reading the safety card and not paying attention to the FA announcement. I mean it was only spoken in Italian and English.

    Now they just count open seats to see what the count it. Old days they would count PAX.

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