Man heading to Inuvik ends up in Iqaluit by mistake

Last modified: August 14, 2018 at 9:53am

A man from Winnipeg trying to reach Inuvik ended up in Iqaluit when he boarded the wrong flight at Yellowknife Airport on the weekend.

Christopher Paetkau tweeted his adventure as he flew some 3,000 kilometres astray. He eventually arrived in Inuvik on Monday after flying back from Nunavut to Yellowknife first.

Paetkau told CBC Manitoba there was a computer problem at the airport on Sunday morning when he turned up for his First Air flight to Inuvik.


His ticket information was entered manually, he said, before he reached Gate 4 – which, as any regular traveller through Yellowknife knows, is home to all manner of regional flights, some operating in quick succession.

Regional flights also often do not enforce seat allocation, meaning passengers can board and sit anywhere they like on the plane, making it less likely a mistake will be picked up.

Paetkau got confused as three different flights were called within minutes and joined a line of passengers on the assumption they were also going to Inuvik.

On board the plane, browsing his phone before take-off, Paetkau missed the pilot’s announcements about the Iqaluit-bound flight.

When he asked a flight attendant if the plane was going to Inuvik, Paetkau told the CBC the flight attendant – thinking he was joking – responded: “Yeah, eventually.”


Paetkau said he had sympathy for the flight crew, who “did everything they could” once they realized his problem.

He was put up in a hotel when he at last returned to Yellowknife, reaching Inuvik a day later than planned.