The following are stories told by travel agents about actual experiences. (and you wonder why US citizens generally score less than the rest of the world on geography tests.)

A client called inquiring about a 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?"

I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me: "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.

A secretary called in looking for a hotel in Los Angeles. She gave me various names off a list, none of which I could find. I finally had her fax the list. To my surprise it was a list of hotels in New Orleans, Louisiana, which has the postal code LA. She thought the LA stood for Los Angeles and that New Orleans was a suburb of L.A. Worst of all, when I called her back, she wasn't even embarrassed.

A man 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 explained that's 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."

I got a call from a man who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." He said "But they look so close on the map."

Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a one hour lay-over in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time."

A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20 AM and got into Chicago at 8:33 AM. I tried to explain 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 very fast and she bought that!

A woman 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. Is there any connection?" After putting her on hold for a minute, while I "looked into it" (I was actually laughing), I came back and explained that the city code for Fresno is FAT and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

I just got off the phone with a man 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."

A woman called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola on one of those computer planes." I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, "Yeah, whatever."

A businessman 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 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 the requirements and, sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this, he said, "Look, I've been to China 4 times and every time they have accepted my American Express