Actual stories by a former Washington, D.C. travel agent


By Bill Derby

The stories below are enough to make you quiver knowing some of these people are in charge of running our country. I bet some of them have a hard time finding the WC (water closet). I bet some of our local travel agents have a number of doozies as well.

Some of our politicians have a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.

•  A New Hampshire Congresswoman called to ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window.

•  A Candidate’s staffer called, wanting to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information then she interrupted me with, “I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts.” Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, “Cape Cod is in Massachusetts. Capetown is in Africa.” Her response? Click.

•  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!”

•  A Lawmaker’s wife asked, “Is it possible to see England from Canada?” I said, “No.” She said, “But they look so close on the map.”

•  An Illinois Congresswoman wanted to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20 a.m. and got into Chicago at 8:33 a.m. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went very fast. She bought it!

•  A lady Senator called and said, “I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, FL. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?” I asked her if she meant “fly to Pensacola, FL on a commuter plane?” She said, “Yeah, whatever!”

•  A senior Senator had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. “Oh, no I don’t. I’ve been to China many times and never had one.” 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. Every time they’ve accepted my American Express!”

•  A New Mexico Congresswoman called to make reservations. “I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York.” The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent: “Are you sure that’s the name of the town?” “Yes, what flights do you have?” she replied. After some searching, the agent 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!” The agent pulled out a map of New York state and finally asked, “You don’t mean ‘Buffalo,’ do you?” “That’s it! I knew it was a big animal!”

•  A freshman Congressman called from the airport to ask, “How do I know which plane to get on?” I asked him what exactly did he mean. He replied, “You told me my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them.”


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