Who says there’s no such thing as a stupid question?

Have you ever asked – or been asked – a stupid question when traveling? I worked for a major airline for many years and have fond memories of some of the questions that I was asked, by otherwise seemingly intelligent people. One day I will try to publish them all in a book; meanwhile, here are some of the things I remember. I often spoke to people who weren’t sure if they wanted to fly or drive to Hawaii for their vacation and several others who were surprised to learn that New Mexico was actually part of the United States.

But one of my favorites was a passenger who was flying to some obscure and exotic destination, where he needed to have a visa as well as a passport. I told him this and after a long pause, came the reply: “I don’t have a Visa. Can I take my MasterCard instead?”

And then there is the classic story about a woman calling the airline to ask about the size of container needed when transporting a dog by air; I did not speak to this person, but the story is purportedly true. The reservations agent told the lady that the dog’s container should have enough room for the dog to lie down in, turn around in a full circle and move its head and tail. Replies the passenger: “Oh, dear! I am leaving tomorrow – I don’t think I can train him to do that by then!”

This UK newspaper site has a list of stupid questions asked by visitors to the UK and other countries. It’s in the form of a slideshow, so you have to keep clicking to see the next picture, but some of my favorites are:

“Why did they build Windsor Castle (which of course, is centuries old) on the flight path to Heathrow airport”

“Why did they build so many ruined castles and abbeys in England”

“Do you know of any undiscovered ruins”

…and from a visitor at the Grand Canyon: “Was this man-made?”

There are quite a lot of other sites out there that list stupid questions, including this one that includes the question: “If it rains, will the fireworks be held inside?”

Lonely Planet also has a travel forum where you can post stupid question and answers. Does anyone have any stupider (or is it more stupid) questions than these..? Please share!

Guest entry by Mancunian

Filed Under: Travel discussion

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  1. James Trotta says:

    I just spent an hour looking for a post I think I remember dealing with stupid questions from travelers. No luck but I think it’s here somewhere…

  2. brenda says:

    it isnt just travel – my friend worked in a bookstore and had some interesting stupid questions by people obviously unaccustomed to reading!

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