Need dinner reservations for eight at Bond Street in two hours? Think it might be fun to fly to London for the night, stay at the Lanesborough hotel, even though it is already booked up, and bring six friends because it is your birthday? If so, then you might want to consider becoming a client of Bill Fischer, a New York travel agent, who specialises in getting people into sold-out hotels, on to overbooked flights and into restaurants with unlisted phone numbers. He satisfies all these requests for clients who pay US$10,000 (HK$77,400) solely to get him to answer their calls. And then there are the package tours Mr Fischer leads for the rich and social to resorts that are hot. During the Cannes Film Festival, for example, he escorted four clients to the Hotel du Cap in Cap d'Antibes, where they could rub elbows with Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood folk who made the cash-only, super-private hotel their base. Last Christmas, he chartered a private jet to St Bart's for 70 people, including an art dealer, Mary Boone, and arranged rooms for 14 days in a hotel which normally sells out a year in advance. Ms Boone said the real value of Fischer Travel, Mr Fischer's 18-person agency, is its ability to handle last-minute reservations and travel emergencies. A week before her son, Max, aged 11, was supposed to go to Venice, Ms Boone realised his passport had expired. Max was at a school camp, and Fischer Travel arranged for a camp counsellor to drive Max to pose for a passport picture, have the photo sent by Federal Express to New York and, through contacts at the passport office, have a new passport issued in 48 hours. The cost? 'I don't know,' Ms Boone said. That is the attitude Mr Fischer likes. With a client list of 400 and with what he says is a waiting list to join it, Mr Fischer decided to charge a fee to enrol as a client. 'Now it's US$10,000 to say hello to me,' he said. The fee is non-refundable and is not applied to tickets, reservations or services. It can be a one-time fee or an annual fee, depending on how demanding a client is. If potential clients balk at the fee, Mr Fischer said, he decides right away not to take them on. 'If they are going to haggle over the fee, then they are going to haggle over the rates of hotels and flights,' he said. His attitude is that he will do whatever it takes to meet clients' needs, but he expects them to pay whatever they are billed, virtually no questions asked. 'They are so rich, what's 10 or 20 thousand to them?' he said. A source of pride at his agency is that the phone number is unlisted. And he makes no apologies for his policy requiring potential clients to present two or three references. 'It's like joining a country club,' he said. 'We have to accept you.' Though such practices seem to imply breathtaking hubris, inviting disbelief about Mr Fischer's business claims, a proffered list of his blue-chip clients checked out: Diane Sawyer; Martin Scorsese; Calvin Klein; Jonathan Tisch, the hotelier; Bruce Wasserstein, the financier; Sanford Weill, the Travelers Group chairman. Spokesmen for all these individuals said they used Mr Fischer's services. Stephen Schwarzman, the president of the Blackstone Group, a private investment bank, who is a client, said: 'Bill is a unique resource and regularly does the impossible.' When Mr Schwarzman's wife, Christine Hearst, was in Paris recently and decided at the last minute she wanted to take her daughter, Janet, to Jules Verne, the popular restaurant on the Eiffel Tower, Mr Fischer went into action. 'You need six months' advance reservation,' he said. 'She gave me six minutes.' After 10 trans-Atlantic telephone calls, he got mother and daughter a table at Jules Verne for Janet's 10th birthday. Mr Fischer, who grew up in Brooklyn, started in the travel business more than 25 years ago selling US$199 packages to Aruba. Since then, he said, he has flown a client's dog to Los Angeles alone so the animal could attend dog camp while the owner went to Europe, and he got an emergency facelift appointment for a client. Despite the dancing stock market and a White House in crisis, Mr Fischer said his business has felt nary an economic ripple. He says he gets his clients impossible reservations and unavailable seats by persistence and prodigious networking. He recounts how he once got clients into a small, sold-out hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland, by telephoning twice a day for three months, until a room finally opened up.