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Check the Claim: Does an Austrian airport have a help counter for people who thought they were flying to Australia?

SKILL: Check the Claim


SUBJECT(S): Pop Culture, General

Students use a keyword search to learn that claims that there is a help desk for travelers who accidentally end up in Austria instead of Australia are based on a joke from an advertisement, not a genuine service.


Due to the similarity of the names “Austria” and “Australia,” people sometimes confuse the two places. As a result, it’s common to find joke t-shirts and souvenirs in Austrian tourist shops that say there are “No Kangaroos in Austria.”

About the Example

Note: If you can’t access TikTok at your school, you can access the video clip here, hosted on the CTRL-F YouTube channel.

A TikTok video by the travel account @fit_nomads claims: “If you’re having a bad day, just remember that the airport in Salzburg, Austria has a counter for people who flew to Austria instead of Australia.” 

No one could possibly think they’re booking a holiday to Australia and end up in Europe, right? 

Let’s check this claim using a quick keyword search (“help counter austria australia”). We’ll find multiple reliable sources debunking it, including news organizations like AP News and Washington Post, as well as fact-checking organization

Clicking on the link from FullFact, we learn that the claim originates from a photo of an ad for a communications company. Turns out this is just an old joke in a new form (it’s still pretty funny, though).


  1. Show students the TikTok video, and ask them to identify the claim.
  2. Have students check the claim using a keyword search (“help counter Austria Australia”).
  3. Have students click on the link from and ask them what they find. Guiding questions:
    • Is the claim mostly true, mostly false or something else? Explain your reasoning.
    • How did this claim originate and spread?
    • Why do you think this claim went viral and was reshared on so many different platforms? Explain your reasoning.

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