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    Category: Tourists/Travel

    Flying Off The Handle Will Get You Handled

    | USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel

    (I’m at an airport, and the flight I’m on has been oversold. The representative calls over the PA system for volunteers willing to be bumped to another flight, in exchange for a free ticket. I am talking with the representative about changing my flight when a man storms up and begins berating the lone employee at the counter.)

    Employee: “I’ve found another flight on [airline] departing in 15 minutes which would get you to your final destination half an hour later than your originally scheduled arrival. Is that okay?”

    Customer: “This is outrageous. My family needs to travel together. I demand that you give my son a boarding pass at once! Stop helping other people!”

    Employee: “Sir, as I have already explained to you, your son bought a standby ticket, while you and your wife bought normal tickets. Your son will not be able to board this plane unless there are empty seats, and we are currently seeking 7 passengers willing to alter their travel plans. Please sit down and I will call you over if that becomes possible.”

    Customer: “No! I was talking to you first; you need to deal with me now!”

    Employee: “Sir, I cannot help you if there are no empty seats, and there currently aren’t, but there may be shortly if you will just wait.”

    Customer: “I shouldn’t have to wait!”

    (I decide to speak up.)

    Me: “Excuse me, but you’re making your own problem worse. I’m one of the 7 people who might be willing to get off this flight, for which I have a valid ticket, but only if the airline can reroute me. This man was trying to do so, but the flight he was going to put me on is leaving in less than 15 minutes. If he can’t get me on that flight, I’m not getting off this one. There is only one employee here; if he is busy with you yelling at him, he can’t process people being rerouted, and your son won’t be allowed on this plane. If you want your family to travel together, get out of the way and let this man do his job.”

    (The customer walks off in a huff and goes back to sitting with his family, muttering all the while. Meanwhile, the employee speaks to me.)

    Employee: “Technically, sir, I have to instruct you to let the airline employees deal with the other passengers.” *pauses* “That said, I’ve booked you an exit row window seat for all of your remaining flights at no additional charge, and please accept these vouchers for meals valid today at any of the airports on your itinerary, in addition to the credit for a round trip ticket we had already mentioned. Here is your new boarding pass, and your new flight departs from [gate] at [time].”

    Loonie Over A Toonie, Part 2

    | Victoria, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Canada, Money, Tourists/Travel

    Me: “Alright, that’ll be $26.17, please.”

    Customer: “Do you accept American money here?”

    Me: “We sure do. And, just so you know, the exchange rate right now is even at 1.00.”

    (I finish counting out the change and hand it to the customer along with her receipt.)

    Me: “Your change is $23.83. Enjoy the rest of the day!”

    (She stands beside my till looking confusedly at her hand for a few seconds.)

    Me: “Is there something else I can help you with?”

    Customer: “What is this?!”

    Me: “That’s your change, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Why would I want this?! Why don’t I get American change back? I’m an American!”

    Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, you are in Canada. We don’t carry American change on the tills.”

    Customer: *hesitantly* “But Canada is practically a part of the States, isn’t it?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, it’s not. If you have any more questions, my supervisor at the service desk will be happy to help. You have a nice day.”

    (She moves off to the end of my till, slowly puts away the money, and wanders off.)

    Next Customer: *jokingly* “That definitely made my day. Do you get those types here often?”

    Me: “You have no idea.”

    Love And War

    | USA | Awesome Customers, Military, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (My husband and I wed three weeks before he leaves for Afghanistan, so we decide to postpone our honeymoon until after he comes home. A year later, we finally find time for our honeymoon and decide to go to Vegas. As we’re boarding the plane, we’ve decided to wear what we had worn for the wedding so we can arrive in style: he’s in his formal Army dress uniform, while I’m in my cocktail-length wedding dress.)

    Flight Attendant: “We would now like to invite our first class passengers and any members of the military in uniform and their guests to board.”

    (As we get up to board, a male passenger scoffs loudly.)

    Passenger: “That’s bulls***! Why should that f** get to board first?!”

    (There are gasps from the other passengers.)

    Passenger: “F***ing murderer! You should be ashamed of yourself.”

    (At this point, my husband and I are beet red with anger and embarrassment, but we choose to ignore this man and board the plane. After the rest of the plane has boarded, a member of the flight crew approaches us in coach.)

    Flight Attendant: “Sir, ma’am: two of our passengers would like to offer you their seats in first class.”

    Me: *shocked* “You’re kidding!”

    Flight Attendant: “Not at all, ma’am. They’ve cleared it with us, and would like to switch seats with you before we take off, in recognition of your service.”

    (As we stand up, the other passengers take interest. An older gentleman and his wife began to make their way back from first class, obviously the couple who had offered their seats to us.)

    Gentleman Passenger: “Are you folks on your honeymoon?”

    Husband: “Yes, sir.”

    Gentleman Passenger: “Wonderful.” *in full voice, so the whole plane can hear* “My wife and I would take it as a personal favor to us if you would sit in our seats up in first class. I served in the military, as did my father, as well as two of our sons, one of whom is no longer with us. And I wanted to let you both know how proud we are to be flying with you today and for everything you’ve done for us and our country. I’m dreadfully sorry for the way you were treated when you were boarding, and we hope you enjoy the seats and have a lovely honeymoon and a wonderful life together.”

    (By now, I am in tears, and the man shakes my husband’s hand while his wife gave me a big hug. We went up to first class and the gentleman and his wife took our seats in couch to applause from the whole plane and flight crew. Furthermore, the crew treated us like royalty for the whole flight. We were told upon disembarking that the people who were seated next to the passenger who had slurred us in the first place had asked to be moved away from him, and that he was given enough dirty looks and reproachful comments that he pouted for the entire flight.)

    Loony Over A Toonie

    | QC, Canada | Canada, Money, Tourists/Travel

    (The tourist shop where I work accepts US dollars; however, we can give change only in Canadian money. As we are in Quebec, my coworkers speak mostly French, but English is my first language.)

    Co-worker: *in French, to me* “Can you come explain to this guy why we can’t give him American change? He’s pretty upset, and my English isn’t good enough for me to understand him. He bought an ice cream sandwich and an ice cream cone, and his wife already walked off with the cone.”

    (The customer is an older gentleman, probably in his 60s or 70s, neatly dressed.)

    Me: “Okay.” *to customer, in English* “Sir, we can’t give out American change because we don’t maintain an American cash drawer. We only have whatever US money other people have already paid with, so we can’t guarantee exact change.”

    Customer: “Well, why do you take American money if you don’t give it back?”

    Me: “We accept American money as a service to our customers, so that you can still make purchases even if you haven’t changed your money yet.”

    Customer: “Service?! Yeah, right!”

    Me: “It is a service, sir. As we are in Canada, we are not obligated to accept American money. But if we hadn’t accepted your money, you wouldn’t have been able to purchase the ice cream you wanted. We’re doing something we don’t have to do, in order to help you out. That’s a service.”

    Customer: “Well, just take back the stuff I bought and give me my $10 bill back, then!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I cannot give you a refund for a product that has already been consumed.”

    Customer: “The ‘product’ has not been ‘consumed’!”

    (The customer points to the ice cream sandwich still on the counter, but the ice cream cone he bought is nowhere to be seen.)

    Me: “Your receipt shows you also purchased an ice cream cone, which I don’t see here. I’m told your wife left with it; I assume she’s eaten it by now?”

    Customer: “You know, you should have warned me before you took my money that I wouldn’t get American change back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. But when you travel in a foreign country, it’s assumed that you will not be able to use the money of the country you came from, but will have to, at some point, use the money of the country that you’re in. I don’t see how your being given Canadian change while you are in Canada is something you should be warned about.”

    Customer: “Just give me my money back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I can’t give you your money back, and I can’t give you American change. There’s nothing more I can do for you.”

    Customer: “There’s nothing you can do?! Well, I tell you what!” *shoves his Canadian change across the counter at me* “You just take that and you stick it wherever it fits best!”

    Me: “Okay, sir!”

    (I drop his change in the tip jar.)

    Currently Cannot See Currency

    | ON, Canada | Tourists/Travel

    (A customer comes to my till to pay for a fax.)

    Customer: “I hate this country!”

    Me: “Oh?”

    Customer: “How much for my fax?”

    Me: “It comes to $1.68.”

    Customer: “Oh, no! I don’t have enough Canadian money left to pay for it. All I have is my American money.”

    Me: “That’s okay, we accept American bills.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay.”

    (He hands me an American 5 dollar bill, and I give him his change is Canadian coins.)

    Customer: “What’s this!?”

    Me: “Your change.”

    Customer: “But it’s Canadian!”

    Me: “Yes, we are in Canada, sir.”

    Customer: “But I gave you American money!”

    Me: “Yes, but I have to give you Canadian money back.”

    Customer: “But if I pay you in American, you have to give me American back!”

    Me: “No, we don’t have American money.”

    Customer: “Why not!?”

    Me: “Because we’re in Canada.”

    Customer: “Well how do I know you’re not screwing me for the exchange!?”

    Me: “The till calculates it for me.”

    Customer: “Well what am I supposed to do with this stupid Canadian money?”

    Me: “You could buy things with it, or you could exchange it at the bank.”

    Customer: “I hate this stupid country! Why would you give me Canadian change!?”

    Me: “Like I said. Because we’re in Canada.”

    Customer: “But I paid with American money! How can you accept it but not give it back!?”

    Me: “We accept it for the convenience of customers. If that’s all they have, then they can still pay for their items. But we don’t stock American money in our tills to give back to them.”

    Customer: “Why not!?”

    Me: *pause* “Because… we’re in Canada.”

    Customer: “Oh, I can’t wait to get out of this stupid country!”

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