First-Class Travellers Get Their Own Tardis

| Grenoble, France | Right | April 4, 2017

(It’s Friday closing time at my agency when the phone rings. I pick up the phone and greet the wife of an important client; a high-tech local firm CEO, who inquired about the arrival time in Paris of her husband’s flight from New York. I get the info for which she thanks me before saying goodbye. Not a minute later, the phone rings again:)

Caller: “I’m terribly sorry; I forgot to mention he traveled first class. I thought perhaps…”

Me: “Same arrival time, madam!”

A London House Business

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Right | November 4, 2016

(A middle-aged lady walks in looking a little lost and is immediately greeted.)

Colleague: “Hi, how can I help you today?”

Middle-Aged Lady: “Yes, can you please tell me if it is cheaper to fly into London or England?”

Colleague: “I’m sorry?” *thinking she had misheard the question*

Middle-Aged Lady: “Which is cheaper to fly into? London or England?”

Colleague: “Sorry, London is in England.”

Middle-Aged Lady: “Yes, I know, but which one is cheaper to fly into?”

Colleague: *confused about what to do* “London. It is cheaper to fly into London.”

Middle-Aged Lady: “And how much would it cost to fly business class?”

Colleague: “Depending on the time of year and airline, maybe around $8000.”

Middle-Aged Lady: “$8000?! You can buy a house for that price!”

(She then stalks out of the office muttering under her breath about ridiculous prices.)

Colleague: *turning to me* “What just happened?”

Me: “I literally have no idea, but I’d love to see that $8000 house!”

Cut-Price Husbands

| New Zealand | Right | March 6, 2016

(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!)

Have Your Reservations About Your Reservation

| Dublin, Ireland | Working | February 24, 2016

(It’s my first time traveling alone, and I make all the arrangements myself, triple-checking everything because I know I won’t have anyone I know in the country when I arrive. I’m assured that everything will go as planned. Once I’m off the plane though, I can’t seem to locate my hotel, and it does not appear on any maps, nor has anyone I speak to heard of it. Hysterical because now I’m penniless and stranded halfway round the world, I finally get directions from a different hotel, who informs me the one I’m looking for has changed their name. Understandably angry, I call the agency.)

Me: “Why was I not informed that the hotel’s name had changed? That’s kind of important!”

Agent: “Are you unhappy with the service we provided?”

Me: “Yes, I’m unhappy! I was wandering around Dublin with my suitcase for three hours, trying to find somewhere that doesn’t exist!”

Agent: “Was your reservation to your liking when you got there?”

Me: “Yes, eventually. My point is—”

Agent: “Then there’s nothing I can do. Have a nice day.”

(They hung up on me, without even apologizing for their mistake.)

Telling You Gare De l’Ess

| England, UK | Working | September 10, 2015

(We are looking at a few days in Paris. Not knowing much about the place, I spend a few minutes the day before flicking through a travel brochure.)

Me: “Hi, we are looking for two nights in Paris. Can you tell us some options, please?”

Saleswoman: *very slowly* ” Er…yeah, sure. So here is the first hotel…” *begins reading from the screen, word for word* “…then there is this hotel…” *again word for word off the website*

Me: “Okay, well, where are they?”

Saleswoman: *starts reciting the website again*

Me: “No, no, I know what it says. I read that myself. But how far is it across the river? Is that nearer the opera district?”

Saleswoman: *reading the webpage to herself* “It doesn’t say.”

Me: “Do you know anything about the areas? Can you recommend where to look?”

Saleswoman: *pointing to the 1″ by 1″ picture* “Well, that looks okay…”

(Getting nowhere fast, we gave up. I have no idea what use is someone whose sole job is to read descriptions.)