A British businessman who was meant to be flying home from Cologne to Essex somehow ended up in Las Vegas.
Finance Broker Samuel Jankowsky, 29, had his boarding pass checked three times by airline staff after leaving Germany for Stansted Airport, but unfortunately no one checked well enough to realise that he was going in the completely wrong direction.
It was only after a nap that Samuel noticed his plane had passed the UK on his inflight tracker. When he noticed the mistake, he frantically messaged his wife before landing 8,500 miles away from home.
Even though it was a total balls up from the airline staff, Samuel says he was treated like “a common criminal” by the US immigration officials, who threatened to detain him for not having the right visa. He was eventually allowed to fly back to Cologne, but was banned from Eurowings and had to travel to Stuttgart airport for a flight home:
When I got on the plane I did think it was a big plane for a short flight, but I didn’t worry about it.
I put on my headphones and went to sleep. When I woke up I saw that we had passed the UK.
I asked the person next to me what was going on and he said: “We’re flying to Vegas”. I said: “Oh f***! Can we turn the plane around?”
I didn’t even know Eurowings flew to Las Vegas.
I paid €12 so I could get WiFi and WhatsApp my wife to explain. She was distraught and called Eurowings to complain.
I was treated like a person who tried to enter the US without a visa. The official said we had an hour to do the paperwork to put me on a flight back to Cologne.
If I missed the flight, I’d be detained until Tuesday when there was another Eurowings flight. I had a boarding pass for London Stansted which cost around €120.
They seemed to think I had sneaked onto the plane to get a flight to Vegas on the cheap.
They even put me in a little cell and completely searched me. I was supervised the whole time I was there.
On the flight back I wasn’t treated at all well by the cabin crew. I didn’t want to be there anymore than they wanted me there.
The crew were professional but they treated me like they had a criminal on the plane, maybe a serial killer. It was like I was in the film Con Air.
The whole experience not only cost me time but also I am Euro 878.66 out of pocket for the food, hotel and flight home.
How could I have boarded the aircraft without a valid boarding pass for that flight? Staff checked my boarding pass three times. It shows the ineptitude of Eurowings staff.
Heaven forbid my intentions were not good. This is a major security failing.
In the end, I took a train to Mannheim in Germany and stayed with a friend while I looked for an affordable flight.
I found one from Stuttgart airport so I had a two and a half hour bus ride from Mannheim to the airport.
Wow – what a crappy ordeal. He eventually landed on July 2nd, two days later than he was supposed to arrive. And on top of that, he was treated awfully. Remind me never to get on a Eurowings flight – their customer service sounds truly awful. It sounds like Samuel will be avoiding them in the future too.
To read about the couple who lost out on their dream holiday to Las Vegas after they booked a flight from the wrong Birmingham airport, click HERE.