Woman Gets On Wrong Flight, Winds Up In Ukraine

Some of my favorite stories in the ‘before times’ were about the passenger who somehow meant to fly to Sydney, Australia but wound up in Nova Scotia instead. The turboprop for their final flight to Sydney never seemed to give away the plot.

Inka Fileva meant to get on a flight to Valencia, Spain to visit her boyfriend but Ryanair took her to Kiev, Ukraine instead.

Instead of Sunday’s 7:10 a.m. London Stansted – Valencia flight she wound up in a country that rhymes with Spain. And she discovered there’s “no Ryanair office” at the Kiev airport.

I don’t understand how my ticket got scanned and passed and how I came here without a visa…I didn’t understand how my ticket got scanned and they let me go to Kiev.

I was flying from Stansted Airport and I think I was supposed to go to gate 44, and I ended up in gate 54. …They checked my ticket a few times, I even asked on the plane what time I would arrive in Valencia, and they told me it’d be two hours and fifteen minutes long.

Her boyfriend was waiting for her at the airport in Valencia. But it was the Kiev airport staff who wound up collecting her. Ryanair organized a flight to Manchester, followed by a connection to Valencia. Only after she spent the night in Kiev, and Ryanair finally flew her back to the U.K. on Monday, they lost her luggage.

Fortunately for Fileva, Ukraine is open to visitors (though if coming from a country with greater Covid, either a 14 day quarantine or negative PCR test within 48 hours of departure is required). And it’s easy to get confused heading to Ukraine – though the confusion usually involves thinking the country is called The Ukraine.

She appears to be something of an anti-masker and I’m led to wonder if the whole thing could be just a cover story and she was really in search of the truth about Hunter Biden’s emails.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. How could we forget wrong-way Mike (college student flying local in California in 1985 who misheard the gate announcement and got on a flight to Auckland, AU instead of Oakland, CA. I believe he ended up on The Tonight Show and an (almost) movie deal. something like a 14h flight instead of a 2h flight was clue number one…

  2. Reminds me of an overseas flight back to IAD – Washington Dulles, but the flight attendant sounded like she was saying DALLAS (without saying Washington). There were a few confused, concerned pax before capt or somebody else made another announcement.

  3. @FLN Re: “something like a 14h flight instead of a 2h flight was clue number one”

    At 2.5 hours in there’s not much you can do about it.

  4. I’ve flown to the wrong country once before. Wasn’t really a big deal to me but just sad I couldn’t claim miles for the extra roundtrip as I was using that trip to help qualify for star gold 🙂

  5. Please correct your typo – you used the Russian spelling of Kyiv. Next year Ukraine will be celebrating 30 years since its independence from the USSR and have changed all Russifications imposed by the Soviets. The capital of Ukraine is officially Kyiv. #KyivnotKiev

  6. So are you saying it’s easier to be confused which plane you sit on and travel for hours, but too confusing to remember a country’s name?? End of the article is just trash. Just because you don’t know it’s Ukraine, not The Ukraine, doesn’t mean it’s confusing. It’s more confusing why the lady couldn’t tell where her plane is going. Getting on the right flight- too hard, being politically correct- nah never heard of this. Writer of this article- it’s Kyiv not Kiev, you really couldn’t learn this? Gary Laff if you’re a travel expert (according to your bio, World’s Top Travel Experts” by Conde’ Nast Traveler) you should know Kyiv and that it’s not the Ukraine. Instead of educating readers you made fun of a country’s name. Shame on you.

  7. @FLN. If I recall correctly, Mike had just flown in from Europe, and was connecting in LAX to go home. You are right, he mistook Aukland for Oakland, and end up on another 14 or more hours after the 10 he probably just had, and the airline said they would fly him back free from Aukland only if he left the next morning. So, 38 hours of flying in a day or so. What a nightmare.

  8. She’s an anti-masking moron.

    Let’s see, she goes to the wrong gate and gets on the wrong flight and tries to put all the blame on the gate attendants. As everyone knows, you can’t fix stupid even with large signs in the gate areas.

  9. Gate 54 instead of 44? Probably the first mistake she made all year. Oh well. There’s always a plane going somewhere. It’s all about the journey, not the destination.

  10. “She appears to be something of an anti-masker and I’m led to wonder if the whole thing could be just a cover story and she was really in search of the truth about Hunter Biden’s emails.”

    These are the last words I will ever read on this site. Best of luck.

  11. @JJ – sorry you didn’t appreciate my sense of humor, and that you’re choosing your reading material based on one joke falling flat with you

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