Being a Travel Agent

Sh*t Travel Agents Hear

February 8, 2014
Shit Travel Agents Hear

I’ve been working in the travel industry for 9 years now (holy crap! I’m that old???) and I must say that as much as I love my job, there are times when I just want to hit my head with a keyboard and walk away from some of the passengers that I have dealt with. They might have asked for a really impossible request or probably maybe just plainly stupid, I don’t know. In the course of those 9 years, I learned how to seek the comedic value of each and every stupid circumstances that I face as a travel agent. I have written some of those experiences on the blog and someone gave me the idea to compile everything in one blog post for my own (and probably yours too) amusement.

Here are what tops my list from all those 9 years that I’ve been working in the travel industry:

Disclaimer: I have put TA as a Travel Agent and PAX as a passenger. TA may or may not be yours truly (but 90% of these scenarios happened to me) as some may be an experience of a colleague. Also, the replies of the TA may or may not be true. You be the judge. 🙂

The double-checker.

PAX 1: What time does your office close?
TA: 6pm
PAX 1: So if I arrive there at 4, are you still open?
TA: Hmmmm… What do you think?

The discount-seeker.

PAX 2: Do you give staff discount?
TA: Oh, you’re an [insert airline company name here] staff?
PAX 2: Well………….. I used to be.
TA: Sorry, but we don’t have EX-staff discount.

The longest airport transfer, ever.

PAX: I’d just take the flight to New York instead of Los Angeles.
TA: but you’re going to Los Angeles and not NEw York, right?
PAX: Yeah, but the flight is cheaper to New York. Can you just arrange an airport transfer from New York airport to my hotel in Los Angeles?
TA: * silence…. realized that the passenger is serious, typed something on the keyboard and showed the passenger this map:

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TA: We can do this transfer definitely, you will arrive in Los Angeles in about 3 days at the least. If there’s no traffic and if you’re not going to have any stops. You will have to drive the car though as there will be nobody in their right mind who will do this transfer for you.

The Royal Blood

PAX: Do I need a visa to go to the UK?
TA: Yeah and unfortunately, you no longer have enough time to process it if you want to leave this weekend.
PAX: Can’t you do something about it?
TA: Uhmmm like what?
PAX: I don’t know, send a message so that we can just get the visa upon arrival?
TA: Why yes definitely, let me call the queen of England for you.

The sun-o-phobic.

PAX: Can you make sure that there will be no sun rays on the side of our plane???
TA: * holds back laughter *

The spell-checker.

TA: Can you spell out your name for me please?
PAX: A for apartment, L for lounge, F for….. F for….. F for…. F*ck? Sorry, excuse my French.
TA: So that’s F for French?
PAX: Yes!!!!!! F for French!!!!

The Grumpy

PAX: Can I book an eyssel seat?
TA: Sorry, which seat?
PAX: eyssel
TA: uhmmm there’s only aisle, middle and window. Which seat would you like?
PAX: EYSSEL!!!!!! THE ONE AT THE CORNER!!!!! DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT EYSSEL IS?????
TA: You mean the exit row seat?
PAX: No!!!! EYSSEL! A-I-S-L-E! EYSSEL!!!!!

The Confused

PAX: Can I have a stopover on the way back?
TA: Yes you can, the ticket allows two stopovers. One for each way.
PAX: But will I have a problem with the visa?
TA: What do you mean?
PAX: Visa to (insert name of the city where the passenger is from here)
TA: You’re holding a (insert the passenger’s country here) passport right?
PAX: Yes
TA: So you’re asking me if you will have a problem during your stopover because you don’t have a visa to enter your own country?
PAX: Yes!

The ahead of his time.
PAX: how many hours is the flight?
TA: 16 hours
PAX: even if I take business class?

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The racist.
TA: Sorry sir but the flight is fully booked, will you be able to travel the day after? On a different airline?
PAX: But I’m holding a (insert first world country passport here)
TA: Sir, as far as I know, the seats inside the plane are not racist. If it’s full, it’s full for everyone regardless of the passport they hold.

The Mr. Suave
TA: May I ask what passport you’re holding so I can update your profile on the system?
PAX: (insert another first world country here)…. Impressive huh?
TA: Excuuuuuuuseeeeeee me????
PAX: nevermind

not my experience but this sure is funny as hell!

not my experience but this sure is funny as hell!

Those are just some of the experiences I’ve had that I can think of right now. I’ll update the post if I ever remember anything else or if something new happens (which is not at all impossible). 🙂

What about you? Do you work in the service industry? Any weird/funny stories to tell? Share it with us on the comment section below. 🙂

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32 Comments

  • Reply Cat January 25, 2016 at 03:25

    OMG I don’t work in service industry, but I can’t believe people really ask those questions… I feel sorry that you have to deal with those people everyday.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High January 31, 2016 at 17:16

      Hahaha! I always try to see the comedic value in each scenario so it won’t be too stressful for me. Hehehe.

  • Reply Corinne January 23, 2016 at 14:04

    These are hilarious. I do love a good laugh!
    Corinne recently posted…Searching for TreasureMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High January 31, 2016 at 17:17

      Hahaha! It’s important to see the lighter side of each scenario I guess. :p

  • Reply Brooke of Passport Couture January 23, 2016 at 08:09

    Having worked many retail jobs, I read these and know exactly what you mean. When I worked at a cafe and a customer asked if Tazo tea was decaf, we told her a specific flavor of the Tazo brand we carry is. As we proceeded to show her the flavor, she asked, “Is that the same as the T-A-Z-O brand?” We explained Tazo is the brand and flavor we were offering to her was decaf, but she still didn’t understand. Working in customer service certainly makes you a better customer and I recommend everyone do it!
    Brooke of Passport Couture recently posted…Ecotourism QuotesMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High January 31, 2016 at 17:19

      Hahaha. That’s true! Working in retail will make you a better customer. I’m always very nice to every people I encounter as I know how hard it is.

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee January 22, 2016 at 23:08

    I’ve probably asked some of those questions, but I’ve had equally stupid ones asked back by TA’s, no matter how specific I’ve been…recently I booked my own flights into Vietnam but wanted the internal flights and return to Singapore flights booked (and I like to use an agent to support the business) – I sent everything with dates and all details, and they still kept booking me flights from Sydney. It was nuts. Then I said I wanted to move down the coast from hotel to hotel (gave them the dates and locations) and they had be driving back and forth in no logical order. I had to ask her to look at the map…

    • Reply Pinay Flying High January 31, 2016 at 17:21

      Oh nooooooo! That’s awful! But yeah, I know some crazy stories too of travel agents messing up the travel plans of clients. I should probably do that as well on a post. :p

  • Reply Tanja (the Red phone box travels) January 22, 2016 at 19:20

    ;)))) ah what to say:) at least you got a funny post out of it:) #weekend wanderlust
    Tanja (the Red phone box travels) recently posted…Big BenMy Profile

  • Reply Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject January 22, 2016 at 11:35

    Definitely some funny moments here for you Pinay! I used to work in a New Age shop – you should have heard some of the things I was asked about spirits, clairvoyants, etc. What a hoot!
    Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject recently posted…A rainy day in VeniceMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High January 31, 2016 at 17:25

      Ohhhhh you should share those to us! That must be really interesting! :p

  • Reply Amber January 4, 2016 at 22:04

    Hahaha, oh my goodness. Some people 😉
    Amber recently posted…Out With the Old, In With the NewMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High January 8, 2016 at 14:15

      LOL. Yes, that’s exactly what I can only say when I was dealing with them. :p

  • Reply ashesc February 12, 2014 at 21:09

    HAHAHAHA love this, it’s hilarious!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 12, 2014 at 22:40

      It really wasn’t at the time that all those happened. Lol. I laugh about it now though. :-p

  • Reply Oceana | Barefoot Beach Blonde February 12, 2014 at 11:11

    I can just imagine the sort of crazy stuff you must hear in the travel industry. Still, it sounds like a cool place to work!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 12, 2014 at 11:42

      It is! Though there really are times when you just want to walk away from it, just like any jobs basically. 🙂

  • Reply Derek4Real February 8, 2014 at 18:10

    This is awesome, thanks! BTW I just finished my sixth trip through the Philippines…forgotten how much I’ve missed it there. In Vietnam now. Anyway, keep up the cool writing and don’t let the idiots get to you 😉

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 15, 2014 at 11:30

      Six trips to the Philippines??? WOW! That’s awesome! Which island is your favorite?

  • Reply Rhey February 8, 2014 at 17:08

    Hahahahaha

  • Reply ExPIAtriatrewife February 8, 2014 at 16:20

    Hilarious! I was working as passenger agent for Air France but mostly came across grumpy French people hahaha, not that many funny stories but plenty of frustrations. Especially when they insist on only speaking in French.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 8, 2014 at 16:25

      I think I have some sort of magnet to really odd circumstances when it comes to dealing with clients because I swear, I have encountered a lot of them! :p

  • Reply Ida Cabiati February 8, 2014 at 15:42

    Lesson in Geography is highly recommended for some travelers.. this is hillarious, Neomi! How do you keep your patient is beyond me.. I would go bonkers! Thanks or sharing! xxx

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 8, 2014 at 16:03

      I think all of us working in the service industry somehow developed a skill to keep our cool and then just go bonkers afterwards. Lol.

  • Reply Lady Anne Bitamor Abit February 8, 2014 at 14:01

    This post made my day! Thanks for making me laugh so hard once again. Hehehe.

  • Reply findmeabreak February 8, 2014 at 10:43

    i know funny eh?! hahaha

  • Reply findmeabreak February 8, 2014 at 10:24

    Well, I have so many call center bloopers but there’s one thing I can’t forget – still makes me laugh when thinking about it. I fell asleep while waiting for the next call. I just realized when I heard “Hello?” repeating over and over. And when it took me back to my senses I just replied using my spiel: “Thank you for calling….My name is Myla. Is that correct?” Then I heard the other line, “Sorry?” hahahaha

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 8, 2014 at 10:26

      Is that correct????? Hahahahahahaha. That’s classic! Hahahaha!

  • Reply findmeabreak February 8, 2014 at 10:08

    OMG this is funny! Reminds me of my call center days back in the Philippines. I used to put the mute button on and swear at the customer then it makes me feel good afterwards. Not so nice but hey I’m just human haha

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 8, 2014 at 10:16

      Lol! Call center is better, you can make faces or curse at them (as long as you’re on mute) without getting into trouble. As a frontliner, you cannot do that. Lol.

      Any funny experiences from your side? I’d love to hear it!

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