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Sorry, Ma’am, But Racism’s Gonna Cost Ya

, , , , , | Right | September 20, 2022

A woman calls from the five-star resort that we booked for her. She sounds panicked.

Caller: “I need to get back in the country!”

Me: “Ma’am, your cancellation policy won’t cover the expense of—”

Caller: “I don’t care about the bill! Get me out of here!”

Me: “May I ask why, ma’am?”

Caller: “There are Mexicans everywhere!”

Me: “Ma’am, you’re staying at a resort in Mexico.”

Caller: “No, not the help! They’re guests! There are Mexicans who are guests!

She flew home six days early on her seven-day vacation… because there were too many Mexicans in Mexico.

Sadly, No Kiki In Waikiki

, , , , , , | Right | September 1, 2022

I work in a travel agency. I answer the phone to a prospective customer who lives in our area (midwest USA) and is interested in going to Hawaii. I ask for details: how many people are traveling, how many days she has to travel, and what dates she’s thinking of going. Then, we get more detailed, and I discuss how many of the islands she wants to visit and the ballpark flight costs to get there. She balks.

Customer: “I’m afraid of flying, so I can’t take a plane.”

Okay, Plan B calls for the traveler to drive to California and take a cruise ship to Hawaii. That would be expensive and time-consuming but possible.

Customer: “I don’t like the ocean, either, and I won’t take a ship.”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but the bridge to Hawaii isn’t finished yet, so there is no way to drive there.”

Customer: “That’s disappointing, but I’m willing to wait.” *Click*

“Sacred” Means Nothing To Some People

, , , , , | Right | August 17, 2022

I worked as a travel agent for several years, and one story stands out in my mind. A middle-aged man walked in with a request.

Client: “Yeah, I wanna climb Ayers Rock before they close it. How much?”

Me: “Well, I can look up flight prices for you, but please bear in mind that it is extremely offensive to Indigenous peoples for you to climb Uluru. It is a sacred site in their culture.”

Client: “Yeah, but it’s not illegal yet, right?”

Me: *Stern but polite* “No, not illegal, just highly offensive.”

Client: “So, not illegal.”

Me: “Not. Yet.”

I then stared at him using my best judgy face until he got uncomfortable and left. Thankfully, climbing Uluru is now illegal.

Don’t Sweat(er) The Latitude

, , , , | Right | May 3, 2022

I am helping a client plan a trip.

Client: “Is it cold in Alaska?”

Me: “Yes, definitely. You should bring warm clothes.”

Client: “So, I should bring a sweater?”

Me: “Ma’am, you are going dog-sledding on a glacier.”

Client: “…so, two sweaters?”

Planning A Holiday Is No Holiday With These Folks

, , , , , | Working | January 26, 2022

The holiday company we used goes out of business. We’ve paid a lot of money for a really special holiday for an anniversary, so we’re obviously devastated. Luckily, at the last minute, the company is bought out, and we are promised an equivalent holiday or our money back.

Immediately upon talking to anyone at the company, they want us to book another holiday, and they give us all sorts of options, many just obviously not a fair alternative.

Eventually, they offer us what seems like a good deal: a week on an all-inclusive beach holiday at a high-specification resort, just like what we booked. But a week before we are due to leave, I have to call them urgently. 

Me: “We’ve just had our rooms confirmed for [holiday reference] and there seems to be a mistake.”

Representative: “Okay, I can see your booking now and it appears to be correct. What was it that you were expecting?”

Me: “This was a replacement for an existing holiday. We had a suite booked then, but now it’s just a standard room.”

Representative: “Okay. Well, I can see that this holiday package offers several activities, where your old booking doesn’t. This is a value of £500 and a much better deal.”

Me: “We don’t want an activity package; we want the nice room.”

Representative: “Well, I’m not sure I can unselect the activities. They are part of the booking.”

Me: “I appreciate that, but that’s not what we were told. We were told it would be like for like.”

We went around in circles. They kept going on about activities, how great they were, and how much they were worth. We kept trying to get them to understand that we wouldn’t use them and therefore, they were worthless. We just wanted what we paid for.

I was about to cancel the whole thing when they did offer a partial refund. It’s not what we wanted, but I reluctantly took it.

The kicker? When we got there, half of the activities were cancelled, and the hotel had a few suites available for upgrades. I actually paid less than the refund we got.

Why some companies are so backward in going forward, I will never understand.