UK Teenager Highlights Smartphone Capabilities by Waking Up in Paris

by on January 15th, 2014

Normally the story of a drunk teenager who wakes up in a different city would not interest the Tech community, unless it was either a personal story or a re-lived memory, however this one is slightly different. Whereas most of us who have experienced such a scenario were woken up at a bus station by a driver or woke up in a pool of sweat realizing that the train has pulled into a station 3 stops after the one needed, teenager Luke Harding from near Manchester, UK went out one night with his mates for a few drinks and woke up in Paris. It seemed the combination of alcohol and a smartphone can prove to be quite a dangerous mix.

Mr Harding headed to a nightclub using his passport as his ID and when the night was about to end received a push notification about a cheap flight to Paris. With his senses blurred by the drink, Luke decided to purchase the flight offer and jumped in a taxi towards Manchester airport. Mr Harding became a social media sensation after his snapchats went viral on Twitter and Facebook.

This story does manage to highlight the emerging capabilities and powers of mobile marketing, mobile purchasing and social media.

The flight was booked after a cheap flights app flashed up on the intoxicated Mr. Harding’s phone with a message offering cheap flights to Paris. After booking the flight for £100 via his mobile, Mr. Harding proceeded to the airport and boarded his flight.

After waking up in the airport toilets, the lost 19-year-old attempted to do some sightseeing and sent two snapchats to his friends. One proclaiming: “Sat outside the Arc De Triumph eating a croissant.” and the other one “Went Tokes (Tokyo Project nightclub), woke up in Paris.”

For those who aren’t familiar with Snapchat, Snapchat is a picture or video, only visible for up to 10 seconds, which then is irreversibly deleted off the senders and receivers phone. The receiver can take a snapshot of the received picture, but not without the app notifying the sender.
These pictures went viral quickly and soon saw Mr Harding’s plight a nationwide affair, all before he even managed to return to the UK.

In comparison, the last time a friend of mine fell asleep on the bus home and woke up in a different city, it caused a minor chuckle the next time we met, not resulting in him becoming an internet phenomenon.

Although the possibilities of mobile apps, push notifications and mobile purchasing, are always growing and providing more options to their users, they can also prove to be the foundations for stupid ideas and money being wasted -sober or not.