Bearded man in viral plane picture with ‘identical’ stranger reveals pair have one crucial difference

A bearded traveller met his doppelganger on a Ryanair flight after he discovered a stranger sat in his seat.

Neil Douglas was shocked to discover his identical twin, Robert Stirling, from London, on the flight from Stansted to Shannon Airport, County Clare, on Thursday evening.

Instead of asking the stranger to move the 32-year-old wedding photographer, from Glasgow, took a selfie and shared the image on Twitter.

Bearded traveller Neil Douglas (right) met his doppelganger Robert Stirling on a Ryanair flight after being randomly seated next to him

The photograph, which has already been shared nearly 2,000 times, shows the two complete strangers looking strikingly similar due to their bushy ginger beards, smiles and hairstyles.

The pair, who were even wearing similar black tops, later realised they were booked into the same Irish hotel and enjoyed a pint together in a nearby pub.

Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Douglas said: ‘I asked him to move and when the guy looked up, I thought: “Holy s***, he looks like me.”

‘We had a big laugh about it – everyone had a laugh. We took a selfie and that was it.

‘I later checked into my hotel in Galway to find my doppelganger checking into the same hotel ahead of me. Total weirdness.’

Mr Stirling, a 35-year-old civil servant from Redbridge, added: ‘I had actually swapped my seat on the plane so that a couple could sit together.

The 32-year-old wedding photographer, from Glasgow, took a selfie and shared the image on Twitter. The men later discovered they were booked into the same hotel and went for a pint 

‘Neil suddenly appeared next to me and all my mates started shouting, saying that we had to take a picture.

‘We chatted on the flight for just over an hour, he was a very nice guy.

‘It turned out that we were staying at the same hotel, and we saw him in a few pubs that night. We ended up socialising and quite a few people pointed out that we looked very similar.’

Mr Stirling, who is in Ireland for a ‘weekend booze up’, added that he had not bumped into Mr Douglas since.

He said: ‘It’s just funny really – it must be a ginger beard thing.’

Social media users have since expressed surprise and even disbelief that the two men aren’t related.

Social media users have since expressed surprise and even disbelief that the two men aren't related 

Lee Beattie, who is friends with Mr Douglas’ wife, shared the image on Twitter along with the caption: ‘Guy on right is the husband of my friend. Guy on left is a STRANGER he met on a flight last night!’

She added later: ‘I can’t stop looking at it. They are the same man.’

Another user from Herefordshire, known only as Tanners, added: ‘They need a DNA test. They’re related!’

One called @thelovelymrfred simply added: ‘Spooky.’

A Ryanair spokesman said: ‘It just goes to show, when you fly Ryanair, you pay half the fares but have twice the fun.’

A third man with a ginger beard and striking similarities to the Ryanair duo has emerged

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