Nightmare ‘Flight to Nowhere’ Turned Around, Landed After 8 Hours in the Air


Boarding a plane with the wrong ticket is like something from an anxious fever dream. It basically makes you an airborne prisoner, destined for some place miles away from your actual destination. 

This exact situation played out Tuesday night on a flight bound from Los Angeles to Tokyo. According to reports of the incident, someone boarded a plane with the wrong ticket. The All Nippon Airways flight spent four hours charting a course for Japan before pilots decided to turn the airliner around and head back to LAX, rendering the journey the ultimate 8-hour "flight to nowhere."

The decision to hit reset on the plane and its 226 passengers was due to an "administrative error," an airline source told CNN. (That's airline parlance for "we screwed up big time, everybody.") 

The airline further explained the mishap in a statement: 

"The cabin crew notified the pilot that one of the passengers boarded the incorrect flight, and the pilot in command made the decision to return to the originating airport."

The snafu was chronicled on Twitter by supermodel Chrissy Teigen, who was onboard the flight with her husband, R&B superstar John Legend. Luckily for people not on the flight, sitting in front of the hypnotic glow of their Twitter feeds, Teigen made light of the stupidly annoying situation by tweeting about it to her 9 million followers. 

After everyone de-boarded the flight, authorities questioned passengers in a secure area of the airport. The identity of the rogue passenger with the wrong ticket has yet to be revealed. But because the internet is a cesspool of amateur detectives seeking some holy grail of hidden truth, people are alleging the whole thing is a conspiracy to cover up something far more sinister

While that isn't likely the case, an investigation is currently being conducted to determine what exactly happened and why. So far, the most pertinent clue might have been uncovered by Teigen herself: 

Really makes you think. 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster