Odd requests baffle consular staff

14 November 2011 09:05

British consulate staff are not employed to provide holidaymakers with information like Phil Collins' phone number

British consulate staff are not employed to provide holidaymakers with information like Phil Collins' phone number

Travel is supposed to broaden our horizons but it would seem that many holidaymakers do not have a clue what sort of advice British consulate staff can give holidaymakers.

According to official Foreign Office records, one such holidaymaker phoned consular staff to ask for Phil Collins' phone number, while another wanted the Prince of Wales' shoe size so he could send him a pair as a gift.

British consular staff in Sydney were somewhat baffled when a man phoned them to ask what clothes he should pack for his holiday in Australia, while a man wanted the British consulate in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia to sell his home for him.

Other amusing instances include a man who phoned staff in Spain to see if they could contact a dominatrix who left him stranded at the airport, while Dubai staff fielded a call from a man who wanted them to meet his dog at customs because he was scheduled to be away when his four-legged friend arrived.

Perhaps these quirky characters could save a packet on their travel insurance costs if they spent less time asking consular staff odd questions and more time shopping around for a better deal.

Consular affairs minister Jeremy Browne said: "We need to be able to focus primarily on helping victims of serious crimes, supporting people who have been detained or assisting people who have lost a loved one abroad."

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