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Actual (?) Travel Agent Stories

by a former Washington, D.C. travel agent of over 30 years

A New Hampshire Congresswoman called to ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.

A Candidate's Staffer called, wanting to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information then 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 response? Click.

A Senior Vermont Congressman 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 Lawmaker's wife asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." She said, "But they look so close on the map."

A Bush cabinet member's aide called and asked if they could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed they had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we want the car so we can drive between gates to save time."

An Illinois Congresswoman wanted 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. She bought it!

A New York lawmaker asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?" 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." I'm overweight and I think that's very rude!" After putting her on hold so I could "look into it" (I was actually laughing), I came back to her and explained the city code for Fresno, CA is "FAT," and that the label was only a destination tag.

A Senator's aide inquired about a trip 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?"

A freshman Congressman called from the airport to ask, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly did he mean. He replied, "You told me my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them."

A lady Senator called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, FL. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?" I asked her if she meant "fly to Pensacola, FL on a commuter plane"? She said, "Yeah, whatever!"

A senior Senator 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 one." 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. Every time they've accepted my American Express!"

A New Mexico Congresswoman called to make reservations. "I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, 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?" she replied. 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 Rhino anywhere." The lady retorted, "Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!" The agent pulled out a map of New York state and finally asked, "You don't mean 'Buffalo,' do you?" "That's it! I knew it was a big animal!"