Travel Lady

The Travel Lady taps on her keyboard. “Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat,” she says, “Is okay with stopover?” I frown. It’s a short flight. “Where is the stopover?” More tapping. “San Franciso,” she says. “San Franciso?!”

I plan to fly the next morning and that’s too late for online booking. I figured that going to a Vietnamese travel agent in Vietnam with a prominent “Vietnam Airlines” sign in front would mean I could book a Vietnam Airlines flight. Not only is my travel agent probably using one of those brain-dead flight searchers that don’t include domestic flights, but apparently she lacks a basic understanding of world geography. And relative costs – she slides a printed quote over the desk: $750.

So, I could take a 50 minute flight for around $50 with Vietnamese Airlines, or spend 24 hours on planes and $750. Maybe I’ll try another travel agent. “Cam-on; Thank you” I say and make my way for the door.


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