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The 22 most bizarre questions clients ask agents

February 3, 2017 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

Is it just Americans, or do Australian clients ask their travel agents daffy questions as well? The question arises after the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) published a list of the 22 most bizarre requests received by agents before travellers go on holiday.

“Does the crew actually sleep onboard the cruise ship?” That’s one question. There are 21 others, including “Can you set it up so that the whales jump in the background at the same time I’m proposing to my girlfriend?”

In Australia, tour guides get asked some jaw-dropping questions as well. A few years ago, a guide at Uluru/Ayers Rock was with a group of tourists on a night tour, watching the large, full moon illuminating the landscape, when one of the tourists asked: “Tell me, is that the same moon we see at home in Idaho?”

Here is ASTA’s list, arranged in no particular order. ASTA (AFTA’s counterpart in the US) says these are “real requests made by real travellers and sourced by our ASTA agent membership”.

  • Can I fish off of the cruise ship?
  • Do they speak English in Britain?
  • Can I bring a 12 pack of Tab on the plane? (Agent responds: First of all, where did you find Tab? And no you can’t bring it on the plane).
  • Are there toll roads on the way to Hawaii?
  • Can you make sure I don’t get a window seat on the plane because I just had my hair done?
  • Can you set it up so that the whales jump in the background at the same time I’m proposing to my girlfriend?
  • I was looking online at the picture of our room. I hate the curtains. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep in that room with those curtains. Can you cancel the whole trip?
  • Don’t tell my fiancé this is where I took my first wife for our honeymoon.
  • I’d love a train trip to Africa…No, I mean I want a train trip from New York to Cape Town.
  • Guest in the aft of the ship… “Which elevator takes you to the front of the ship?”
  • I had a grandmother and granddaughter who wanted to visit China. When informed that they needed visas, the grandmother responded, “No we don’t.  I went to China with my church group last year and I was able to use my American Express card all over the country.”
  • Can you please book the honeymoon suite for us and another couple?
  • I want to take a cruise to Las Vegas.
  • Does the crew actually sleep onboard the cruise ship?
  • Can we drive our rental car in Hawaii out of state? We want to go to Alaska. After all, they are the 49th and 50th states on the map… so there must be a bridge, right?
  • I would like to go somewhere where there are NOT a lot of men.
  • I’d like to get married in the Caribbean on an island where the marriage is not legal in the US.
  • Will there be shadows on my face at 4 p.m. when the pictures are taken?
  • Will you watch my pet while I’m away?
  • How can I get to Europe without going by air or sea?
  • I’d like to visit Scotland and Denmark on the same trip. (Agent then tells client he does not have time in his schedule to travel the distance). But they’re only an inch apart on the map!
  • Can you ask the airline to block the seat next to me so I can stretch out?

Commenting on the questions, ASTA president and chief executive, Zane Kerby,  pointed out that consumers had a wealth of information available to them via the Internet.

“ASTA travel agents help consumers make sense of the innumerable internet ‘deals’, and know which local suppliers are worthy of trust. This list is proof that some consumers need a little extra help when they plan vacations, and that’s where we come in.”

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Traci Webb says:

    I worked at Ansett Airlines in Melbourne many years ago- and I was asked” is that Westgate Bridge that fell down – you know- the one the ship crashed into ( referring to a bridge incident in Hobart years apart) is that bridge fixed yet- can we drive to Tasmania” I answered `No- they are still having trouble fixing the Petrol pumps needed- you will still have to fly Madam”

    Another colleague was asked ( remember- Ansett was a domestic airline) `Do you have the train timetable to Hawaii?
    He was advised to ring V-Line ( we figured staff at V-line deserved a laugh too!)

  2. Traci Webb says:

    Im sure many Agents have had to explain why it takes 1 1/2 hours to fly from Paris to London- and only 1/2 hour from London- Paris.. bigger faster planes of course- nothing to do with time differences!!

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