An American academic flying to Canada for a math conference ended up in the wrong part of the country after mistakenly booking a flight to Calgary instead of Ottawa.

Assistant professor Jason Chow, who teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, documented the error of his ways on Twitter.

It took the academic some time to realize he was in the wrong Canadian city and would miss the conference.

“Only noticed something was off when someone on my panel emailed asking me if I was coming to our talk (he included a smiley face so I thought he was joking),” Chow tweeted.

“Soon to find out that I was on a different time zone and thought maybe there was some weird CST/EST thing going on across the border.”

Chow said he ran to get an Uber and thought there was an error when the app showed a cross-country journey.

“Got in the Uber and then, needless to say #awkwardmoment, I got out shortly after without leaving the hotel (Westin Calgary not Westin Ottawa FYI),” he wrote.

Providing context for the mix-up the academic said he had been busy with grant-related projects ahead of the conference.

“Booked flights and hotels in a rush, both are Canadian cities I’ve never been to that sit nicely on the south side of a river and have similar looking night-time pictures of their respective Westins,” he wrote on Twitter.

“In hindsight, I got Calgary and Carleton (the university where the conference is) mixed up in my head.”

The Mathematical Cognition and Learning Society conference runs from June 16 to 18 at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Despite the mix-up there were clues in the build-up to his flight. The flight time from Chicago to Calgary is around 20 minutes longer than Chicago to Ottawa, which Chow put down to a weather delay.

He also asked friends before the trip what there is to do in Calgary, but no one had been.

Chow was able to see the funny side of his mistake.

“Silver lining is now I have some time and will go on a run (the river on this side of Canada looks great), and I’ll be able to make all my Zoom calls I had set as tentative,” he joked.

“If anyone wants to catch up, I have some time.”

Offering advice to those booking flights he suggested an “extra minute of confirmatory effort” to make sure others do not repeat his error.