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Turns out stupidity does pay off

The couple will get their dream holiday after all.

Guy BirchallThe Sun

THE unlucky British couple who booked flights to Las Vegas from the wrong Birmingham airport have seen their fortunes change and are now set to jet off for the dream break after all.

Virgin Holidays is providing complimentary flights and accommodation for Richella Heekin and Ben Marlow after they mistakenly booked their flights from Birmingham, Alabama, The Sun reports.

Richella, 26, had arranged the trip of a lifetime as a surprise 30th birthday gift for partner Ben and announced the news at a family gathering.

She had booked their flights on lastminute.com and had already spent $2300 towards the dream trip before the first spin of the roulette wheel.

But the Sutton Coldfield couple’s luck went bust when they arrived at Birmingham Airport to fly to Sin City, when they learned Richella had booked flights from Birmingham in Alabama.

They flew off to Amsterdam instead after lastminute.com said no refund was available.

But after the airport mishap went viral kind-hearted Virgin Holidays has stepped in to offer the embarrassed couple free flights and a five-night stay in Vegas.

Poor Richella was trying to book a surprise trip to Las Vegas for boyfriend Ben when she botched the booking, costing them $2300. Picture: iStock

Poor Richella was trying to book a surprise trip to Las Vegas for boyfriend Ben when she botched the booking, costing them $2300. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied

Kelly Grindle from Virgin Holidays, told the Birmingham Mail: “We read your article about the couple who booked flights to Las Vegas from the wrong airport and we’d like to right that wrong.

“We can offer flights from Manchester direct to Las Vegas for them — not quite Birmingham, but better than Alabama!”

When told of the news, Richella, a paediatric speech therapist, said: “Are you serious? I can’t believe it.

“We have been able to laugh at our mistake and we’ve had calls and tweets from Australian and American news.

“So it’s so lovely of Virgin to do this.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed but I’m so grateful to Virgin and to the Birmingham Mail.”

Ben, a senior residential care worker for children, described the offer as “awesome”, particularly as some unkind people had poked fun at the blunder.

He said: “I’m over the moon.

“We didn’t expect the publicity. We have had some horrible comments, but I’ve just laughed them off.

“In 20 years’ time we will look back and remember that we were all over the news. It’s been mad really.”

It’s not the first time the two Birminghams have caused confusion.

In 2008, Birmingham City Council in the UK admitted sending out thousands of leaflets bearing the US city’s skyline.

Around 720,000 pamphlets praising residents for their recycling were sent out at a cost of $29,000.

And in 2014 the authority plugged a bridal fair in Birmingham, Alabama, on the events section of its website.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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