I suppose every trade has its line-up of jokes, things that we poke fun at and roared out in laughter just because we are not in that profession. Come on, admit it. You laughed long and hard too. Anyway, here are some from the travel trade. Apparently, some Geography lessons may be in order here.
Actual stories from travel agents but source unknown.
- I had someone ask for an aisle seat on the airplane so that her 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 information, 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 Cape Town 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 response was '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.'
- 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 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 was actually laughing) I came back and explained that 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 darn planes have numbers on them.
- A businessman 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 asked, '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!'
While we are on the subject of travel, ever thought about space tourism? I mean going to space as a tourist?
US$30million. That's about how much it takes to be a space tourist on a 10-day stay on the International Space Station.
Below is a picture of the Russian Soyuz space capsule smoothly landing near Arkalyk, in north-central Kazakhstan Friday, Oct 24, 2008. It carried an American and two Russians back to earth and touched down on target in Kazakhstan.
On arrival, search and recovery crews buzzed in on Mi-8 helicopters and extracted Richard Garriott, Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko from the capsule, which landed on its side on the brushy surface under a clear sky.
"What a great ride that was," said Garriott, an American computer game designer who is the son of Owen Garriott, a retired NASA astronaut who flew on the U.S. space station Skylab in 1973.