True Stories from Travel Agencies

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  • Anonymous


    I had someone ask for an aisle seat so that their hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window.

    A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, “Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?”

    I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with “I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts. “Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, “Capecod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa.” Her response … click.

    A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, “Don’t lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state.”

    I got a call from a man who asked, “Is it possible to see England from Canada?” I said, “No.” He said “But they look so close on the map.”

    Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour lay-over in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, “I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time.”

    A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of llinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

    A woman called and asked, “Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know who’s luggage belongs to who?” I said, “No, why do you ask?” She replied, “Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I’m overweight, is there any connection?” After putting her on hold for a minute while I “looked into it” ( I was actually laughing) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

    I just got off the phone with a man who asked, “How do I know which plane to get on?” I asked him what exactly he meant, which he replied, “I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them.

    “A woman called and said, “I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those computer planes.” I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, “Yeah, whatever.”

    A business man called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. “Oh no I don’t, I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.” I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, “Look, I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express.”

    A woman called to make reservations, “I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York” The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent: “Are you sure that’s the name of the town?” “Yes, what flights do you have?” replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’ve looked up every airport code in the country and can’t find a Hippopotamus anywhere.” The customer retorted, “Oh don’t be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!” The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, “You don’t mean Buffalo, do you?” “That’s it! I knew it was a big animal!”


    In my travel agency days a secretary of one of our large business customers phoned and asked one of my staff for times of trains to Aberdovey. As it was a complicated journey she asked which station from and what time he wanted to arrive. With that information she said she would call back in a few minutes.

    She phoned back with all the times and various routes, which the secretary thanked her for. I said they must have a new customer in Wales.

    A few minutes later the secretary phoned back and all apologetic said that she had misunderstood her boss as it was not “trains to Aberdovey” but “planes to Abu Dhabi”……


    This list was sent to me a couple of weeks ago by my travel agent. She also told me a story of a family walking into one of the Thomas Cook offices in Manchester to enquire quite seriously about a “Safari holiday in Jurrasic Park”


    …though not entirely a daft request as there is/was a rather good Jurassic Park Theme Park ride:


    One of my clerks had a ‘phone call from a business customer asking for a room at a hotel in Johannesburg. When she rang the customer’s secretary back to confirm the booking, she was told : “Oh and he want’s a sea view room.”

    My clerk said : “Sorry I thought you asked me to book a room in Johannesburg.”

    “Yes, but last time he stayed at a Holiday Inn it was in Durban and he had a sea view room there.”


    I used to work in a travel agency in Scotland. I arranged car hire for a customer from London who asked “Is a normal car OK? They have tarmac roads here?”


    I wanted to rent a 4×4 from Avis in Lome, Togo some years ago.
    At the desk I asked, (translated from French) if they had any cars with four wheels. All our cars have 4 wheels sir!

    Yes but 4 wheels that turn at the same time. Yes sir, all our wheels turn at the same time.

    And so the conversation continued until a much amused guest also staying in the hotel stepped in and told me its “quatre fois quatre” in french and after the receptionist stopped laughing, he told me no sir, sorry we do not have 4 x4’s to rent!


    One of my secretaries, a few years back, was asked to enquire about the best flight options to Naples and came back with the information that there are no direct flights to Katmandu (Nepal!!)


    I was in charge of a group of people doing some testing of an car rental application. They were meant to go through all the functionalities, such as special equipment.

    One of them came to me to explain that it didn’t work properly as she couldn’t rent a car in Darwin with snowchains!


    I was told of a guy in Glasgow seeing a holiday advertised in a travel agent’s window and delighted with the price he went in to book. The agent made the reservation and read over details to him with the flight leaving from Gatwick. No, he said, in the window it said LGW = Leaves from Glasgow!


    Beautiful! Thanks for the laugh before bed! Hilarious! I was on a flight to Istanbul and, no lie, honest to goodness, a woman asked her friend “is it [IST] next to Mars?”

    It takes a village…


    The alleged story of an American tourist who flew to Rodez, in SW France, not far from the Massif Central.

    Upon arrival she enquired the best way to get to the marina / port.

    She thought she had flown to Rhodes.


    From someone who has always worked in hotels. A lady from Toronto flies Air France to Lagos, via Paris as part of a Church group going on holiday (yes, to Nigeria!). The 747 has to land at Valencia to offload her with a medical problem, a few days later she comes to “my” hotel to recuperate and I start organising her return to Toronto. I explain that a one-way ticket will be very expensive, so she suggested I booked her by train. I eventually had no option but to explain, with an atlas that the Atlantic Ocean was in between Europe and Canada. It was the lady┬┤s first trip abroad needless to say, but I did get her home via Lufthansa.


    Recently was working on a flight when passenger pressed call bell. Can you confirm where we are going .I said San Diego. He said good. Ths gentleman next to me said we are going to USA. I said we are. He said I am going to Santiago and it is in Chile. I said we are going to San Diego in USA

    I checked he paperwork and he had booked to go to San Diego. So therefore was on the correct flight for his paperwork.

    The gentleman was from the Far East and had booked the flight in India. I seems that it had got lost in translation.

    From Santiago, he was going on several other flights around the world. British Airways put him up in a hotel and sent him to the next destination on his intenary the next day.

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