In my 20 plus years as a travel consultant I've been asked some pretty amazing questions. Most questions are great questions and show real concern by my clients. In the age of technology most of my clients or prospective clients have done some research prior to speaking with me.
ASTA, American Society of Travel Agents put together a list of some of the craziest questions posed to travel consultants over the years. Will you be insulted when you read this list? I surely hope not! My goal is to give you a bit of a chuckle and glimpse of your fellow travelers.
Many thanks to ASTA for their support of travel agencies and agents worldwide.
In celebrating National Plan for Vacation Day, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is shining a spotlight on the work dedicated professional travel agents do by releasing “22 Bizarre Requests Made to Travel Agents”. These are real requests made by real travelers and sourced by our ASTA agent membership.
“Consumers have 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.” said Zane Kerby, ASTA President & CEO. “This list is proof that some consumers need a little extra help when they plan vacations, and that's where we come in.” he said.
“There are 658 million unused vacation days left on the table every year by American workers. When they finally do take a vacation, most of us don't have time for a do-over. Put that planning in the hands of a professional. You’ll be glad you did,” said Kerby.
The following are 22 Bizarre Requests made of an ASTA professional travel agent, in no particular order:
- 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 U.S.
- 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?
ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally based members, it is the leading global advocate for travel agents, the travel industry and the traveling public. ASTA’s history of travel industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information, visit ASTA.org.