Could you ask the airline to hold the plane for me? Can I please have a refund for half my flight ticket?
Most requests travel agents receive are pretty run-of-the-mill, but every once in a while, travellers push the boundaries of what’s normal—or even possible.
Amadeus’ travel agents share some of the funniest things clients have asked – or told – them:
Hold the plane…
Kenyan travel consultant Monicah Nguvi had a client asking her to talk to the airline to please ‘hold the plane’ for 30 minutes as the client was running late.
And, Nigerian-based travel consultant Temitope Obaleye had to explain why even a business ticket won’t help when it comes to delaying departures. Her client told her: “I bought a business class ticket, so just tell the pilot to wait for me…”
I paid for my ticket. Surely, I can change it as often as I like?
Ademitutu Oluwaseunrerefunmi Oluwasemileniola, American Express travel consultant in Lagos, Nigeria, asked her client if he was absolutely sure he would make the local trip he booked two months in advance. The client said he would, but lo and behold, two days prior to the travelling date, he asked for a ticket change.
“I told him it would cost him 22 300 Naira,” she said, adding that the client replied that he had already paid for his ticket and that he would refuse to pay. “I suggested that he should make the change at the airport by himself and he agreed. Later he came back to tell me I was right.”
Who needs a visa?
“I don’t have a visa yet. When I get to my destination, I’ll explain it to them,” a client once told Kenyan travel consultant Anne Waringa, when she urged him to apply for a visa in time.
When size does matter….
“Why did you give me such a small flight,” an irate customer asked Kenyan consultant Lois Kan. “As if I own the airline company,” she laughs.
Just reimburse half my flight ticket…
A very cost-conscious customer tried to haggle with Nigerian travel consultant Eunice Egwans. The customer told Eunice: “I bought a return ticket but only used one segment. Please refund me half the amount of the ticket.”
I’m happy to hitch an airplane ride in the boot…
Ngoo NwaRay, travel agent at Discovery Travels & Tours in Nigeria was faced with a client who was really desperate to get on the fully booked flight to London. “Please, even if it’s in the boot, I’ll manage,” he told her.
Where do travel agents park their planes?
Ali Fred, travel consultant at Longrock Tours & Travel in Kenya, was not sure what to answer when the client asked him where he parked the airplanes. The client asked: “I am booked on your flight leaving Nairobi to Delhi tonight. Should I come to your offices in town or where do you park your flights?”
When the sun shines just a little too bright…
Most people like their moment in the sun, but not travel consultant Shonisani Gadisi’s client. “One of my clients requested that I book a seat on the side of the plane were they will be no sun….,” she says.
The hop on hop off plane…
Hop-on-hop-off buses have become quite popular, so why not a hop-on-hop-off plane?
Nigerian-based consultant Yinka Oluwole’s client asked her: “Since Lufthansa is passing through Germany, can you ask the airline if they can make a quick stop in Cologne so I can see my cousin before we continue?”
A selfie with the clouds please?
Kenyan-based consultant Ali Abdallah Abuu received a special request from a passenger who told him: “I am a business class ticket holder and I must be given priorities. Kindly could I ask the pilot to stop the aircraft while in the air so I can take selfies with the clouds.”
If you’d like to share your strange request stories, send us a message on Facebook @AmadeusAfrica.