Constable Steve Pallett was scheduled to visit Bucharest, Romania, to attend the official handover of the Dance World Cup. Jersey is due to host the annual event next year and he was supposed to receive a flag from his Romanian counterpart at the event. But he flew instead to Budapest, the Hungarian capital, leaving him some 500 miles short of his intended destination and unable to reach the ceremony in time.
A spokesman for Jersey’s Education, Sport and Culture department said “human error” was to blame. “It is really disappointing, I have to apologise for wasting taxpayers’ money and for letting down the Dance World Cup,” Pallett told the BBC. “I don’t know the exact cost as I’ve still got some figures to come back, but it won’t be less than £1,000 and the department should have been more careful when it was booked.
“All I can do is apologise for what is a schoolboy error, the last thing I needed was a day trip to Budapest after a long week supporting the Island Games.” It was by no means the first time someone has mixed up a pair of similar-sounding cities and ended up a long way from their intended destination.
Earlier this year a medical student was left red-faced after he attempted to fly to Guyana to begin a scholarship but ended up nearly 2,000 miles from his intended destination, in the Brazilian city of Goiania.
In 2013 Lamenda Kingdon, a British woman, had hoped to explore the beautiful Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. Instead she mistakenly caught a flight across the Atlantic to the tropical Caribbean island of Grenada.
Earlier that year Sandy Valdiviseo and her husband Triet Vo were intending to fly from Los Angeles to Dakar in Senegal with Turkish Airlines. However, instead they ended up almost 7,000 miles away – on an entirely different continent – in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, after the airport codes were mixed up.
And in 2009, Samantha Lazzaris had planned to visit San Jose in Costa Rica but was mistakenly sent by her travel agent, Thomas Cook, to San Juan in Puerto Rico.