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Man Traveling to Sydney, Australia Accidentally Winds Up in Sidney, Montana New Yorker Kingsley Burnett, 62, messed up the airport codes and wound up in the wrong hemisphere.

By Dan Bova

NurPhoto | Getty Images

There's an old saying in the travel business: "Double check your plane ticket because there are more than one Sydneys in the world."

Okay, that's not an old saying, but it should be.

New Yorker Kingsley Burnett, 62, learned this the hard way. When he scored an unbelievably low fare to fly to Sydney, Australia, he snatched the ticket up and packed his bags.

Burnett boarded his plane and after a shorter-than-expected flight, realized he had made a huge mistake. Rather than landing in Sydney, Australia, where he was scheduled to take a cruise, he landed in Billings, Montana where a small Cape Air Jet was waiting to make his connecting flight to Sidney, Montana.

Related: Going on a Family Vacation? This Popular U.S. Destination Is the Most Expensive in the World.

"I saw the little plane with like 9 passengers and wondered 'How is that going to get me to Australia?'" Burnett told the New York Post. "That was when I caught onto the mistake I made."

It's a mistake that is easier to make than you might think.

Sidney, Montana's airport is listed as SDY while Sydney, Australia is SYD. Carol Castellano, the American Airlines ticket agent in Billings who Burnett asked for help, was able to book him a return flight to New York and a room at the Boothill Inn for the night. The manager of the hotel, Shelli Mann, told the Post that it was the second time she had an unplanned guest who made the same name mistake.

Despite the flight mess-up and the missed cruise, Burnett had a surprisingly upbeat take on the whole thing. "Montana didn't have kangaroos. It had Carol. And that was good enough for me," he told the Post. He rescheduled his Australian trip for June, and this time, we think it might be a good idea to use a travel agent. According to Geotargit, there are 21 Sidneys in America, three in Canada, and there are seven Syndeys throughout the world.

Related: The Travel Sector Is Getting Upgraded

Burnett posted a photo with Carol on Facebook and a GoFundMe, presumably to help with the mixup expenses.

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim, and Spy magazine. His latest books for kids include This Day in History, Car and Driver's Trivia ZoneRoad & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff, and Wendell the Werewolf

Read his humor column This Should Be Fun if you want to feel better about yourself.

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