A Washington DC airport ticket agent offers some examples:
1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)
2. I got a call from a candidate’s staffer, who wanted to go to Capetown. While I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, she interrupted me with, ”I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts ” Without trying to make her look stupid, I calmly explained, ”Cape Cod is in Massachusetts , Capetown is in Africa.” Her response – click.
3. A senior Vermont Congressman called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando .. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, ‘Don’t lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!” (OMG)
4. I got a call from a lawmaker’s wife who asked, ”Is it possible to see England from Canada ?” I said, ”No.” She said, ”But they look so close on the map.” (OMG, again!)
5. An aide for a cabinet member once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, ”I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.” (Aghhhh)
6. An Illinois Congresswoman called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 a.m., and got to Chicago at 8:33 a.m. I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn’t understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.
7. A New York lawmaker called and asked, ”Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?” I said, ‘No, why do you ask?’ She replied, ”Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I’m overweight. I think that’s very rude!” After putting her on hold for a minute, while I looked into it. (I was dying laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno , CA is (FAT – Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.
8. A Senator’s aide called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii ….. After going over all the cost info, she asked, ”Would it be cheaper to fly to California, and then take the train to Hawaii?”
9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman who asked, “How do I know which plane to get on?” I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, ”I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.”
10. A lady Senator called and said, ”I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, Florida . Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?” I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola, FL on a commuter plane. She said, ”Yeah, whatever, smarty!”
11. A senior Senator called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China . After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him that he needed a visa. ‘Oh, no I don’t. I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.” I double-checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa… When I told him this he said, ”Look, I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!”
12. A New Mexico Congress woman called to make reservations, ”I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York.” I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, ”Are you sure that’s the name of the town?” ”Yes, what flights do you have?” replied the lady. After some searching, I came back with, ”I’m sorry, ma’am, I’ve looked up every airport code in the country and can’t find a Rhino anywhere.’ ”The lady retorted, ”Oh, don’t be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!” So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, ”You don’t mean Buffalo , do you?” The reply? ”Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.”
Could this be part of the problem?