US airline apologises for mistaking Portstewart for Derry

City of Culture? United Airlines mistakenly printed a photograph of Portstewart alongside a feature extolling the merits of Derry.
City of Culture? United Airlines mistakenly printed a photograph of Portstewart alongside a feature extolling the merits of Derry.

One of the world’s leading airlines has apologised after mistaking the north coast seaside town of Portstewart for Derry.

United Airlines acknowledged that the error - published in worldwide publicity material hailing the top 25 places in the world to visit in 2013 - was ‘uncharacteristically boneheaded”.

United wrongly used a photograph of Portstewart, 35 miles from Derry, to illustrate a feature on the 2013 City of Culture. The faux-pas appears in the latest edition of the the airline’s on-board/online ‘Hemispheres’ magazine which hails Derry as one of the “25 new things to see” in 2013.

Unfortunately, the feature on Derry - which ranks the city alongside San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro and New York City - appears beside a photo of Portstewart Harbour.

Joe Keohane, Editor in Chief of ‘Hemispheres’ - which reportedly has a readership of approximately 7 million per month - said: “We’re replacing the image at hemispheresmagazine.com and putting measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. My apologies to the city of Derry which I’ve visited and very much enjoyed.

“It’s an uncharacteristically boneheaded error for us. It originated as a misreading of caption information furnished by a photo agency, and then managed to elude editors and fact checkers through the production process.”

United has routes to more than 60 countries around the world and carries 147 million passengers per year.