Travel agents are gaining momentum again, thanks in part to the rise of online booking. With the massive overload of information available online, people are getting overwhelmed and looking to agents to cut through the clutter. Additionally, travel agents are familiar with their destinations, they know the best ways to get around in these places, and they often have access to more VIP and upgrade perks. Some even honor online deals if you find a cheaper price somewhere else.
There are studies suggesting that young people are even using agents now. MMGY research says that 34% of younger “millennial” travelers consulted an offline travel agent in 2015 and 39% of respondents said they planned to consult a travel agent in the near future.
All that being said, we thought it would be fun to recap some interesting—okay, bizarre—requests that the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) compiled. And, yes, these are real requests made to ASTA agents. Please enjoy!
- “Can you make sure I don’t get a window seat on the plane because I just had my hair done?”
- “Are there toll roads on the way to Hawaii?”
- “Can I fish off of the cruise ship?”
- “Do they speak English in Britain?”
- “Can I bring a 12 pack of Tab on the plane?” (Agent responds: First of all, where did you find Tab? And no you can’t bring it on the plane.)
- “Can you set it up so that the whales jump in the background at the same time I’m proposing to my girlfriend?”
- “I was looking online at the picture of our room. I hate the curtains. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep in that room with those curtains. Can you cancel the whole trip?”
- “Don’t tell my fiancé this is where I took my first wife for our honeymoon.”
- “I’d love a train trip to Africa…No, I mean I want a train trip from New York to Cape Town.”
- Guest in the aft of the ship… “Which elevator takes you to the front of the ship?”
- I had a grandmother and granddaughter who wanted to visit China. When informed that they needed visas, the grandmother responded, “No we don’t. I went to China with my church group last year and I was able to use my American Express card all over the country.”
- “Can you please book the honeymoon suite for us and another couple?”
- “I want to take a cruise to Las Vegas.”
- “Does the crew actually sleep onboard the cruise ship?”
- “Can we drive our rental car in Hawaii out of state? We want to go to Alaska. After all, they are the 49th and 50th states on the map… so there must be a bridge, right?”
- “I would like to go somewhere where there are NOT a lot of men.”
- “I’d like to get married in the Caribbean on an island where the marriage is not legal in the U.S.”
- “Will there be shadows on my face at 4 p.m. when the pictures are taken?”
- “Will you watch my pet while I’m away?”
- “How can I get to Europe without going by air or sea?”
- “I’d like to visit Scotland and Denmark on the same trip.” (Agent then tells client he does not have time in his schedule to travel the distance). “But they’re only an inch apart on the map!”
- “Can you ask the airline to block the seat next to me so I can stretch out?”
See…some people may need travel agents even more than we think!