A British businessman accidentally flew to Las Vegas instead of Stansted.
Finance broker Samuel Jankowsky, 29, was meant to be flying back to London from Cologne in Germany after a series of meetings.
But after taking an hour-long nap on his Eurowings flight, he woke in his seat and spotted that the plane had flown past the UK according to the journey tracker on his entertainment system.
He claimed he was allowed on the flight even though airline staff checked his boarding pass three times.
When he noticed he was on the wrong flight, he frantically WhatsApped his pregnant wife using the on-board wifi before he landed 8,500 miles away in Las Vegas on June 30.
But he claims when he landed he was treated as ‘a common criminal’ by US immigration officials who he said threatened to detain him for not having a visa.
He claimed he was banned by Eurowings so had to travel to Stuttgart Airport for a flight home with a different airline to the UK.
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Mr Jankowsky, from Basildon, Essex, who travelled 17,000 miles, said: ‘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: “Can we turn the plane around?” I didn’t even know Eurowings flew to Las Vegas.’
The father of Aston, six, and Thalia, one, said he was even more distressed because his wife Monique, 25, was waiting for him in London and was seven months pregnant.
He said: ‘I paid 12 euro so I could get wifi and WhatsApp my wife to explain. She was distraught and called Eurowings to complain.’
His plane landed at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
He said: ‘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 euro.
‘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.’
He added: ‘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.’
He said the whole experience cost him €878.66. He had to take a train from Cologne to Mannheim, where he stayed with a friend before finding a flight with another airline from Stuttgart.
A spokesman for Eurowings said: ‘We are aware of this case. This case happened several weeks ago and has already been resolved.
‘The passenger had passed through passenger control and the identification documents had been properly checked by the Federal Police.
‘Due to an error by a service provider’s employee, the passenger managed to board the long-haul flight.
‘According to the authorities and Eurowings, at no time was there any safety risk.’