Airplane Doppelgangers: A Twitter Story

By Erika Owen
November 03, 2015
people who look alike
Credit: Lee Beattie

There are a lot of things to expect when you step on an airplane—in-flight snacks, elbow wars over the armrest, crying babies, pre-take-off safety lecture. There's a good change "meeting your doppelganger" is not on that list. That's exactly what happened to Neil Thomas Douglas when he boarded a Ryanair flight headed to Ireland at the end of last month.

After sitting down in his assigned seat, Douglas realized that the flyer sitting next to him looked pretty familiar, as in he could have legitimately been Douglas's long-lost twin. For the record, the passengers were not related in any way. Slowly, fellow flyers starting catching on and sharing photos, much to the joy of Twitter users around the world. Here's the tweet that started it all:

The photo ops clearly continued over a beer at a pub once landing. Since the intial tweet, more red-bearded men have popped up all around the world who bear a striking resemblence to the original twins. Whether it was a perfectly timed convenience or a ridiculously wonderful PR stunt by Ryanair, this is just proof that flying can still be magical.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.