Category: Tourists/Travel


A Ringside Seat For The Battle Of The Seat

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I am on the train traveling from California to Colorado. A few minutes after I get on, the conductor announces that the train will be completely filled due to the holidays. Slips of paper are hung over the seats to indicate they are occupied, so travelers can go to the dining car or observation car and not have their seat taken. A few stops after I get on, when the train is not completely full yet, an older woman boards. A conductor helps her with her luggage. She immediately hones in on the only empty window seat left, which is directly across the aisle from me.)

Conductor: “Ma’am, you cannot sit there. That seat is already occupied.”

Lady: “I don’t see anyone sitting here.

Conductor: “They aren’t here now, but that paper shows the seat is reserved. And their stuff is on the seat.” *a plastic bag is hanging from the armrest near the window*

Lady: “Well, since they aren’t here, I’m going to sit here.”

Conductor: “Ma’am, you can’t do that. Someone already claimed that seat. You have to sit somewhere else.”

Lady: “I don’t want to sit somewhere else.”

Conductor: “But you can’t sit there.”

Lady: “But I picked this seat.”

Conductor: “Someone else already picked that seat. You need to pick another one.”

Lady: “I’m sitting here. I’ll just move whenever they get back.”

Conductor: “Fine.”

(About a half hour later, the man returns to his seat and finds it occupied.)

Man: “Ma’am, you’re in my seat.”

Lady: “This is my seat.”

Man: “No, it’s not. Those are my things. This is my seat. You need to move.”

Lady: “You weren’t here, so I sat here. You can sit somewhere else.”

Man: “No. This is my seat. You need to move.”

Lady: “I don’t want to move.”

Man: “That’s too bad. You’re in my seat.”

(By this point, I am struggling to contain laughter, incredulous at the woman’s behavior. I didn’t speak up at first because the man was clearly not cowed by the crazy lady’s behavior, but I finally decide he needs some help.)

Me: “Ma’am, the conductor told you that was someone’s seat. You told him that you would move when the person returned.”

(The crazy lady gives me an evil glare and humphs.)

Lady: “Well, FINE, then.”

(She makes a big show of struggling to stand up, when she had been clearly mobile before. The train is nearly full at this point, and there is not an empty seat in sight.)

Man: “Ma’am, the seat next to mine is empty if you want to sit there.”

Lady: “FINE.” *she continues to grumble under her breath*

(Several hours later, the man got up again and left for a while. When I glanced over again, the crazy lady was back in his seat, clearly looking smug. I went to sleep before he returned and his stop was at 5 am, before I woke up, so I didn’t get to see if there was another confrontation, but for the rest of the trip the crazy lady finally officially had her window seat.)


Dumb By Any Metric, Part 3

| VIC, Canada | Extra Stupid, Popular, Tourists/Travel

(I conduct tours for cruise ship passengers who’ve come ashore. Most of them are Americans, so as part of my tour, I give them a short lesson in the metric system.)

Me: “So, in Canada, we operate under the metric system. Our speed limits are measured in kilometres per hour, not miles per hour. For example, 80 kilometres per hour is around 50 miles per hour. Our temperature is measured in Celsius, not Fahrenheit. When we say it’s 20 degrees Celsius, that’s about the same as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If we say it’s zero degrees Celsius, that’s 32 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Tourist: “What’s the population here?”

Me: “Our population is around 350,000 people.”

Tourist: “How many is that in REAL numbers?”

Dumb By Any Metric, Part 2
Dumb By Any Metric


Just Ran Over (Very) Big Bird

| Perth, WA, Australia | Extra Stupid, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I am a flight attendant. Whilst turbulence sometimes happens, this flight was actually very smooth. One customer seems to think otherwise.)

Customer: *sounding slightly stressed* “Why is it so bumpy; it’s so very, very bumpy!”

Me: “Oh, we just ran over a bird.”

(Customer looked out of the window to try and spot the poor bird, even though we were at 35,000ft. I walked away before she worked it out…)


Cut-Price Husbands

| New Zealand | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular, Tourists/Travel

(We have a policy in which we will beat our competitor’s prices by a dollar if a customer pays on that day. We can make no further discounts or deductions on the reduced price if a customer asks for that service, as if we do, we risk running a debit with the airlines. We publicize this far and wide, so we get customers approach us on a daily basis.)

Customer: “I’ve found this price to the USA, but I want you to price beat it for me.”

(This can involve a few minutes of work, as we have to research the price, and confirm it is still valid. In this case everything is fine, and I can proceed.)

Me: “Okay, well, we will match this price, and better it by $1.”

Customer: “No. No, I want more off. You will give me another 10% off the price, and waive all the fees.”

Me:”I’m sorry, but that’s just something I can’t do. This is the lowest price you can get. It is already a sale price, and we’ve dropped the price again to beat our competitors. I can’t give you anything further. Dropping the fees will actually anger the airline, as that incorporates their fuel charges. ”

Customer: “No, you will. And I might buy more travel from you in the future.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t.”

Customer: “Give me a discount!”

(This goes on for more than 10 minutes with the customer insisting that I must give him a 10-20% discount.)

Me: “Sir, honestly, I have given you the best price in the country. I can get my manager to confirm this, if you would like?”

Customer: “No, I can tell your manager will just do what you say. This is because you aren’t married isn’t it?”

Me: “What?!”

Customer: “You’re not wearing any rings. You’re not married, as you obviously don’t know how to treat a man. If you give me this discount, it will prove that you are worthy for a husband!”

(Unbelievably I kept my cool. He went away after 30 minutes, telling me what a hard and difficult woman I was. He still booked, and even then harassed my colleague for asking about the entry visas!)


Literally Expecting You To Move Mountains

| Haines, AK, USA | Crazy Requests, Tourists/Travel

(I am picking up a new set of tourists from the docks to take on a walking tour and notice one standing off to one side staring out across the water at a rather impressive mountain range.)

Me: “Pretty great view, huh?”

Tourist: “Well, it WOULD be if you got rid of those mountains.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Tourist: “Seriously, have you spoken to anyone about it? They really block the view.”

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