LOST IN TRANSIT

10 Hilarious Travel Mishaps That Went Viral


Published on May 27, 2024


Credit: Erik Odiin

Part of the fun of being a tourist is that everything is kind of new. And more often than not, this means that traveling abroad is filled with little moments of excitement and unpredictability. But sometimes, these unexpected twists can lead to situations so bizarre that they end up making headlines worldwide.

From misplaced pets to mistaken destinations, here are 10 travel blunders that had the world laughing along.

1

Bluebell of Arabia

Credit: Patrick Hendry

Even pets can have unexpected adventures. Bluebell, a family's pet pup, found itself on an unintentional journey to Saudi Arabia after being mistakenly placed on a flight to Riyadh instead of San Francisco. When the worried family contacted the airline, they apologized and told them what had happened. Luckily, the furry traveler arrived unharmed and was reunited with its owners as quickly as possible.

2

Trapped In A Toilet

Credit: Gerrie van der Walt

If the perspective of being trapped inside a normal public restroom for any length of time is already unpleasant, imagine being trapped for almost the entirety of a two-hour flight inside an airplane bathroom! That's precisely what happened to an unfortunate passenger during a trip from Mumbai to Bengaluru on a SpiceJet Airlines flight in India. Despite efforts from the flight crew and fellow travelers, he remained trapped until the plane landed at its destination and a team of engineers could unlock the stubborn door.

3

Never Trust The GPS

Credit: Alvaro Reyes

Three tourists in Australia relied a bit too much on their GPS when attempting to drive to North Stradbroke Island. Failing to account for the fact that the island is… well, surrounded by water, the GPS traced a course that led them directly into the sea. Eventually, they found themselves stuck in mud and water, and were forced to abandon their vehicle. Lesson learned: never trust a machine blindly!

4

Monkey Business

Credit: Andre Mouton

In 2014, during a visit to Bali, a tourist experienced an unexpected encounter with a mischievous monkey. While busy feeding other animals, his GoPro was stolen by a cunning primate who, in a matter of seconds, snatched it and ran away into the forest. Fortunately, a local woman intervened, making a "deal" with the monkey by offering fruits in exchange for the return of the expensive equipment. But when the tourist finally recovered his camera, he was delighted to find that the monkey had filmed himself during the whole ordeal, in true "selfie" fashion.

5

The Journey Is The Destination

Credit: Jerry Zhang

A few years ago, a viral story claimed that an airport in Salzburg, Austria, had a dedicated help desk for people who mistook the tranquil alpine destination with Australia. As funny as it sounds, the story turned out to be fake - but that doesn’t mean similar occurrences are completely unheard of. Far from it, from soccer fans ending up in the wrong country for a match to travelers mistakenly flying to Grenada instead of Granada, mix-ups in destinations are more common than you'd think. Remember: always double-check your travel plans! Otherwise, you might end up far, far away from your intended destination.

6

Swallowed Whole

Credit: Karl-Heinz Müller

In 2019, diver Rainer Schimpf had a whale of a tale to tell after being briefly swallowed whole by a huge Bryde's whale off the coast of South Africa. Confusing him for some tasty fish, the enormous creature opened its mouth and took Schimpf into its massive jaws. Luckily, the animal quickly realized he was no ordinary fish and spat him out. The man managed to escape unscathed from the strange ordeal, but his story quickly became viral, earning him the nickname of a modern-day Jonah.

7

Arctic Escapade

Credit: James Eades

A Texan grandma's holiday photo op turned into a media sensation when she was swept out to sea while posing on an iceberg throne in Iceland. While her son was taking a picture of her, the chunk of ice she was sitting on suddenly separated from the shore, sweeping her and the block of ice into the freezing sea. Fortunately, the coast guard quickly launched a rescue operation, and she was returned safely to shore.

8

Left Behind

Credit: JESHOOTS.COM

You might assume that once you've passed through the departure gate, missing a flight would be impossible. However, easyJet made headlines when they overlooked 29 passengers trapped between security doors and the gangway. Days later, the company found themselves in the news again, this time dealing with a drunken passenger causing chaos in the nude. It's safe to say it was a turbulent week for them.

9

Snake On A Plane

Credit: David Clode

A Scottish woman got the surprise of her life when she found a 24-inch-long spotted python in her luggage after a trip from Australia to Scotland. Amazingly, the snake had managed to hitch a ride unnoticed during the 11,200-mile-long and had even begun to hibernate in its makeshift shelter within one of the woman's shoes. Fortunately, the clueless reptile was taken unharmed to a wildlife sanctuary. So, if you are planning a trip to the Down Under, remember to check your boots before coming home!

10

Destination Unknown

Credit: Jan Huber

Even with careful planning, sometimes things take an unexpected turn. Such was the plight of passengers aboard a British Airways flight destined for Dusseldorf in 2019, only to find themselves landing in Edinburgh due to a crew error. Mid-flight, some passengers noticed something was amiss, but the plane nonetheless continued its journey, leading to their bewildered arrival in Scotland instead of Germany. Apparently, the pilots were given incorrect flight details and only found out their mistake when confronted by the angry passengers upon landing.


EXTREME BRANDING

When Brands Go Too Far: 10 Unforgettable Marketing Stunts


Published on May 27, 2024


Credit: Joshua Earle

In the competitive world of marketing, sometimes a little creativity goes a long way. Over the years, brands have pulled off some truly outrageous stunts to capture attention, generate buzz, and solidify their place in the minds of consumers. But sometimes, brands take things a bit too far in their quest for sales.

Join us on this roller coaster of bizarre marketing stunts and sales strategies that pushed the boundaries of conventional advertising.

1

Elephant Parade

Credit: Documerica

Famous American showman and businessman P.T. Barnum was a pioneer of unconventional marketing, often staging bizarre stunts that would attract thousands of onlookers. In 1883, during the inauguration of the Brooklyn Bridge, he led a parade of 21 elephants, including Jumbo—his beloved African elephant—across the newly constructed bridge. The spectacle garnered widespread attention, reassuring New Yorkers of the bridge’s safety while promoting his own shows.

2

A Record-Breaking Jump

Credit: Kamil Pietrzak

Red Bull has made a name for itself associating with crazy stunts and extreme sports. In 2012, the energy drinks brand orchestrated one of the most daring marketing stunts in history with Felix Baumgartner's supersonic freefall from the edge of space. The Red Bull Stratos mission saw the Australian daredevil jump from a helium balloon at an altitude of 128,000 feet, breaking world records and capturing everyone’s attention.

3

Spending the Night in a Furniture Store

Credit: tommao wang

While IKEA is not very keen on young pranksters who seemingly love to hold secret sleepovers in their stores, they could not resist the temptation of making their own slumber parties. The Swedish furniture chain gave shoppers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the night in one of their showrooms as part of a marketing campaign. The lucky customers were treated to a sleepover complete with games, massages, and breakfast in bed, turning a mundane shopping trip into a memorable experience.

4

The Subservient Chicken

Credit: Josue Canales Tecuatl

As part of their advertising campaign "Get chicken just the way you like it", Burger King's Subservient Chicken website allowed users to control a person dressed in a chicken costume through what looked like a live webcam feed but was actually pre-recorded footage. The interactive experience quickly became viral, capturing the imagination of internet users and generating tons of buzz for the fast-food chain.

5

A Christmas Miracle

Credit: Norman Tsui

In Japan, Domino's Pizza once experimented with delivering pizzas via reindeer during the holiday season. While the reindeer delivery program seemed like a great idea in Hokkaido’s extreme blizzard conditions, the stunt was short-lived and faced many logistical challenges—according to Domino's, controlling reindeers is no walk in the park. However, the failed stunt still managed to capture the festive spirit of the season and garnered widespread media coverage.

6

Guerrilla Marketing

Credit: Rosie Sun

A pioneer of the found-footage genre, The Blair Witch Project didn’t just shock audiences on the silver screen, but also revolutionized movie marketing with its guerrilla tactics, which included fake missing persons posters and a mysterious website presenting the film as a real documentary. The viral marketing campaign generated immense curiosity and propelled the independent film to massive success.

7

A Night at the Louvre

Credit: Michael Fousert

In 2019, Airbnb offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for guests to spend a night inside the iconic Louvre Museum in Paris. The exclusive sleepover was part of the celebrations of the Louvre Pyramid’s 30th anniversary and allowed lucky winners to enjoy a private tour, gourmet dinner, and an overnight stay in a custom-built small version of the famous entrance to the museum.

8

Commuter’s Oasis

Credit: Dele Oke

In 2013, as part of their "Have a Break" campaign, KitKat built their own "bus stops" in the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, complete with a bench where people could just sit and take a moment for themselves. And if they waited long enough, they would win a free Nexus 7 tablet, just for sitting there!

9

Launching a Car Into Space

Credit: SpaceX, CC0

In a move that epitomized Elon Musk's flair for the dramatic, SpaceX launched a cherry-red Tesla Roadster into space aboard the Falcon Heavy rocket. With a mannequin in a spacesuit dubbed "Starman" at the wheel and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" playing on loop, the stunt captured the whole world's attention, simultaneously promoting both Tesla and SpaceX in a bold and exciting way. And the funniest part is that the cutting edge car will now be orbiting the Sun for millions of years!

10

Message in a Bottle

Credit: Ruud de Peijper

A message in a bottle might seem like a poor way of getting someone’s attention if you are in a pressing situation, but not for Guinness! In a series of marketing campaigns that took place in the 50s, the Irish beer company dropped hundreds of thousands of sealed bottles in the middle of the ocean. Each bottle contained a message asking the finder to write to Guinness Exports, reporting the location and date of the find. To this day, the bottles are still washing ashore, and are worth quite a lot as Guinness memorabilia if left unopened.

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infrangible

/ɪnˈfrændʒəbəl/