The following are actual stories told by travellers from
Mendocino County, CA to travel agents in the UK. (And you wonder why US
citizens generally score less than the rest of the world on geography...)
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."
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, "Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa." Her
A secretary called in looking for hotel in Los Angeles. She gave me various
names off a list, none of which I could find I finally had her fax me the
list. To my surprise, it was a list of hotels in New Orleans, Louisiana. She
thought the LA stood for Los Angeles, and that New Orleans was a suburb of
LA Worst of all, when I called her back, she was not even embarrassed.
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 one-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 Illinois, 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, to which he replied, "I was told
my flight number is 823, but none of these 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."