The Case of the Confused Tourist

October 1977: German tourist Erwin Kreuz took a flight from Augsburg to San Francisco. When it landed in the United States, he got off.

Three days later, he realized he wasn't actually in San Francisco. Instead, he was in Bangor, Maine, where the plane had stopped for refueling. Kreuz realized his mistake when he got bored of wandering around what he thought were the suburbs of San Francisco, got in a cab, and asked to go to downtown San Francisco. The cabbie somehow managed to inform him (despite Kreuz's total lack of English) that it would be a very long trip.

Kreuz later explained that when he had been sitting on the flight, after it had landed, a stewardess had walked past him and wished him a "pleasant stay in San Francisco." The crew was being switched during the refueling, so she was just saying goodbye, but Kreuz assumed it meant they had arrived in SF. So he deboarded, went through customs, and managed to get a cab to a local hotel.

When the media got word of Kreuz's mix-up, he became a national celebrity. The SF Examiner flew him out to San Francisco at their expense, where he got to meet the mayor and tour the city.

A year later Kreuz returned to Bangor to be the celebrity guest at the opening of a shopping mall, but things for him then went downhill because the brewery where he worked back in Germany fired him for taking too much time off.

In 1979, Kreuz returned to Bangor a third time, hoping to find a job by cashing in on his celebrity. But the only job he was offered was as a janitor. So he returned to Germany.

More info: Wikipedia, Bangor Daily News

The La Crosse Tribune - Oct 29, 1977

Erwin Kreuz

     Posted By: Alex - Mon May 16, 2016
     Category: Tourists and Tourism | 1970s

Dummkopf! Das ist nix Kanssas, Fritz.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/16/16 at 10:12 AM
Too bad the Kardashian's 10 minutes of fame for doing nothing but being stupid didn't end so quickly.
Posted by RobK on 05/16/16 at 10:55 AM
Some years ago, there was one of those crazy hurricanes in the Gulf that went east, west, north, stop, go, back, forth, "oh-I-can't-decide" for a week – Elena, I think. Around the beginning of the mess, a retired couple from Britain began their vacation in Panama City, Panama. They made it as far as Atlanta Airport, where, in the confusion, they got on a plane for Panama City, Florida. Upon arrival there, they got whisked off to an evacuation shelter, where they spent their vacation, listening to weather reports.

Now minor celebrities, they were TV interviewed in Atlanta Airport on their return trip, when they commented that they were "never coming back in this bloody hemisphere again."
Posted by Virtual on 05/16/16 at 12:47 PM
kinda hard to make a career on that.
Posted by crc on 05/16/16 at 01:08 PM
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