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14 November 2011 09:05
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."
26 October 2016
People could be at a bigger risk of having high blood pressure if their home is close to a busy road, research has suggested.
25 October 2016
Almost 200 ill youngsters have been given the chance to enjoy a holiday of a lifetime thanks to the annual Dreamflight trip.
22 October 2016
A "perfect storm" of the falling value of the pound and security fears means holidaymakers are avoiding travel in Europe during October half-term.
21 October 2016
A union is warning of travel chaos over the Christmas period at four major UK airports, unless a baggage carrier transfers staff to other companies.
20 October 2016
Thousands of passengers faced travel chaos yesterday after rail service through the Channel Tunnel was suspended because of a power failure.
19 October 2016
People planning holidays from Gatwick Airport in the run up to Christmas could face travel chaos as unions threaten to strike over a pension dispute.
18 October 2016
Eurostar has said it will cut 12 services from London St Pancras to Paris and Brussels.
15 October 2016
Tourists in Thailand are being advised to "behave respectfully" and wear "sombre" clothing as the country mourns King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
14 October 2016
Holidaymakers are being warned to buy currency in advance as exchange rates being offered are as little as 0.96 euro to the pound at airports.
13 October 2016
Scientists say there is strong evidence air pollution and vitamin D deficiency can cause dementia.
12 October 2016
More people are going on holiday than at any time in the past five years despite terror attacks and the impact of Brexit, according to a study.
11 October 2016
People from across North Carolina had to be rescued from their homes as the downgraded Hurricane Matthew blew out to sea - leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.