Tales From the Travel Agents

Travel agents get some very strange requests. Here is a compilation of them that is making the Internet rounds lately.

We can't personally vouch for their authenticity, but the agents who contributed them do. Read and smile, or weep:

• I had someone ask for an aisle seat so her hair wouldn't get messed up from 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 said she 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 South 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 because 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."

• A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20a.m. and got into Chicago at 8:33 a.m. 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. She bought that.

• A woman called and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose 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 actually was laughing) I came back and explained that the city code for Fresno, CA, 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 businessman called and had a question about the documents he needed 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."

Do you have any offbeat travel tales to share? Feel free to e-mail them to Taste for Travel.

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