What is it with airlines and maps? Which part of ‘atlas’ don’t they understand? You’d think that, being the business of transportation, they’d get their distances and directions straight. Some time ago, I posted a map by Swiss Airlines that placed a lot of its destinations at a worrying distance from their actual location (#271).

But to be fair to the Swiss, they’re not the only ones to get this kind of thing dead wrong. Have a look at this excerpt of an Aer Lingus map, showing some of their North American destinations. Let’s not split hairs over the fact that New Orleans is located on the other, inland side of Lake Pontchartrain (they should be so lucky).

Take a look instead about those upstate New York destinations that have moved to le Nord-du-Québec. Buffalo, birthplace of the late lamented Tim Russert (and of the eponymous chicken wings – real buffalos don’t have wings), has moved from the eastern shore of Lake Erie to the eastern shore of James Bay, the southern offshoot of the Hudson Bay.

Thanks to Lindsay Watt for notifying me of this map. The full map may be seen here at her blog, where she also details some of the other ‘moved’ locations: “From what I can tell, Rochester has moved over to be Eastmain, Nunavut*. Burlington is Lac Guillaume-Delisle** and Syracuse is Lac Bienville**.”


* I would have thought Eastmain was in Québec, but the link in Ms Watt’s blog to a Googlemap of the town shows it to be an exclave of Nunavut. Wikipedia, however, lists it as part of Québec. Can anybody clarify? And while I’m asking questions: scrolling Googlemaps of the area, I was struck by the weird shape of Flaherty Island in the Hudson Bay. What’s up with that? Does anybody know anything about the why and the how of that strangely shaped place?

** not the names of towns, but of proper lakes, both unequivocally located in Québec, although the former seems to be in the autonomous Nunavik region, and the latter might also be, or be in Jamésie, the southern of both regions that compose ‘le Nord-du-Québec’. I can’t find a map showing the lakes’ position vis-à-vis the borderline. My just deserts for berating Aer Lingus’ lack of map-reading skills!