This Flight Accidentally Landed at the Wrong Airport, 197 Miles Away

It is still unclear who exactly was at fault in the mishap.

4FR/E+/Getty Images
4FR/E+/Getty Images
4FR/E+/Getty Images

If on Sunday, November 26 you were aboard a 13-year-old Airbus A320 departing from Lagos and headed to Abuja-both Nigerian cities in Africa-you probably quickly realized, upon landing, that something was off.

For starters, the fact that the airport signs read “Asaba” (which is yet another city in Nigeria) instead of “Abuja” might have turned your suspicions on. As it turns out, your gut feeling would’ve been right.

As One Mile at a Time reports, that Sunday flight actually ended up landing at the wrong destination, delivering passengers to Asaba instead of Abuja. You’re probably thinking, “that’s OK, they’re probably very close-by airports.” They’re really not-Asaba’s airport is located a whopping 197 miles from the intended destination of Abuja.

Which begs the question, how on Earth can a flight land at the wrong destination? This time, the answer is still unclear. One party is blaming the airline, while another one is holding the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) responsible. Other people, instead, think it was just the pilot’s own doing.

Reportedly, a few passengers that were on that same flight said that they heard the crew announcing they were about to land in Abuja (the correct destination). However, once they got off the aircraft, they noticed that the airport they were at was actually that of Asaba.

Those passengers who are holding the pilot responsible, instead, said that the pilot said he was given the wrong flight plan. The airline in question-United Nigeria Airlines-is denying such a claim, and is blaming it instead on the Aviation Authority, saying that the flight was forced to land in a different airport due to poor weather at destination, and that the pilot knew of this the entire time. The crew announcing the wrong airport, instead, was just a small mistake.

Of course, this got the Aviation Authority mad. The NCAA announced on Monday that investigations are underway, and that it suspended all wet-lease aircraft (which means that both aircrafts and crews actually belong to other airlines) in operation at United Nigeria Airlines. Apparently, they weren’t too happy to be blamed because of the weather, considering that no other airline encountered issues landing in Abuja.

This isn’t the first time an incident like this has happened. In 2019, a British Airways flight that was supposed to fly from London to Düsseldorf found itself landing in Edinburgh due to a paperwork error. But before you start bragging, US carriers are none the wiser, apparently. In 2013, a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter landed in Colonel James Jabara Airport instead of McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita, Kansas. Luckily, though, the two destinations were only eight nautical miles apart.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTikTokTwitterFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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