The dangers of booking flights online have been revealed thanks to the efforts of Michael Brown (25) and his girlfriend Kate Rogers (23). Having decided to take advantage of Ryanair's dirt-cheap online offer for flights to Europe, Kate booked her and Michael a holiday to Gerona, near Barcelona in the top right of Spain.
Sadly, it was only when the couple were kicked off a bus for trying to buy a ticket in Spanish pesetas that they realised something was wrong, the Mirror reports.
As it turned out they had in fact arrived in Genoa in northern Italy. You'll note the similarity between the two place names. Sadly, Kate didn't and selected the wrong one from Ryanair's drop-down menu.
Apparently, neither of them thought anything of it when the pilot informed them they were flying over Milan. They did think it funny that there were so many Italian flags in Gerona, but Michael wisely put it down to a glut of ice cream parlours.
If was only when they approached an English couple and asked "Excuse me, but what country are we in?" that the horrible truth finally dawned. The tokens they had for cheap accommodation in Gerona were not valid in Genoa, so the couple made their way back to the airport to sleep. They flew back the next day.
Michael had never left the UK before and now claims he wants solid assurances from someone in authority with regard to his destination before he risks it again.
Just one indication as to how this modern technology is going to ruin all our lives. And it can only get worse as more companies use the huge advantages the Internet offers to cut overheads.
Ryanair announced yesterday that 92 per cent of its bookings came through its Web site. Passengers were up 35 per cent and profit up 44 per cent to £64 million. ®