I spent a good portion of my childhood and young adulthood in Staten Island, New York. Our entire island was Richmond County and, with that, we had a bajillion streets that contained the word “Richmond” in them. Richmond Avenue. Richmond Road. Richmond Hill Road. Richmond Court. Richmond Place. Richmond Terrace. Richmond Walk. Richmond Valley Road. Port Richmond Avenue. You get the point.
But at least all of those were different.
As you go through life and learn about geography, you quickly realize that some places are named exactly the same as others. You can find Orange County in California, Florida, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. There’s a Bethlehem in Palestine and another one in Pennsylvania. And if you were ever a fan of the Monkees’ song “Last Train To Clarksville,” you might be interested in knowing that there are 21 cities and towns in the U.S. and 1 in New Zealand called Clarksville.
So if you’re flying somewhere that has the same name as somewhere else, you have to make sure you’re going to the right place. For example, if you’re flying to Portland, you want to make sure that you don’t make a reservation for Oregon if you want to go to Maine.
Unfortunately, some poor guy in the U.K. wanted to go to San José (the city in Costa Rica) a while back, and mistakenly booked a flight for San Jose, California.
Worse yet, he didn’t realize his error until just a few hours before his flight.
Steven Roberts, a resident of Leeds, was planning on vacationing with some of his pals on a 3-week long “lads holiday” in Costa Rica. As per The Independent, he made his reservation on British Airways, since there was a direct flight from London Heathrow to San José, Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s San José has the airport code SJO. California’s San Jose’s 3-letter code is SJC. And British Airways flew directly to “that” San Jose from Heathrow, as well. So guess what Roberts did? Yep.
The two are only 3,900 miles apart.
Anyway, it was Roberts’ friends who alerted him to the possibility of booking the wrong airport. Which, as it turned out, he had done. And then, of course, announced to the world on Facebook (as one does):
Everything turned out OK in the end – he managed to switch his flight at the very last minute (for a £1,000 fee) and go to the “correct” San Jose with his friends…who, based on their responses to this post (“Cannot stop loling,” “If it was me I’d have let you fly to the wrong place just for my own amusement,” “Haha you muppet!!!”) will undoubtedly never let him hear the end of it. 😉
Feature Photo: Pxhere
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary