Does buying a ticket from a travel agency guarantee that you will get to where you want to go without any problems? Not always.
About 3 years ago, the owner of the small agency where I worked sold two round trip tickets to a nice, elderly couple who wanted to go to Branson, Missouri. The closest airport to Branson was in Springfield, Mo., approx 40 miles to the North. Well, a travel agency in the Detroit area does not sell many plane tickets to Springfield, Mo. There was a simple way to look up the airport code for Springfield (we used Worldspan)....KC
The only problem was that the airport codes for any city named Springfield showed up....it was up to us to make sure we had the correct one. The owner ran the tickets, looked them over and handed them to the couple.
On the day of the trip, the elderly couple checked in at DTW
for their flight on
TWA to St. Louis, where they would catch their connecting flight to Springfield. Upon arrival in STL
, they showed their tickets to the customer service agent at the gate....the agent pointed the way to their connecting flight. Upon arrival in Springfield, they asked someone in baggage claim where they should go to catch the shuttle bus to Branson. The agent was very surprised...he told them that they were no where near Branson.....he then checked their tickets....they were in Springfield, ILLINOIS (yes, that's where they were ticketed to and yes, TWA flew to that Springfield also). TWA (bless their hearts) immediately reticketed them, and put them on the same aircraft back to STL
where they would later catch a connecting flight to the correct Springfield. Later that evening, they arrived in Branson (their luggage arrived the next day).
About 4 years prior to this incident, the owner made a similar mistake. He had a business client who had to go to St. John's, Newfoundland for a meeting. Guess were he ended up.......St. John, New Brunswick......about 750 miles away.
Those airport codes can cause big problems....I guess we are all human.
Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.....