Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lawsuit: Travel agents screwed clients for $25K!

The owners of a Chicago travel agency bilked customers of more than $25,000 for trips to Mexico and other Latin American countries, the Cook County state's attorney claims in a lawsuit filed today.

The agency's owners "repeatedly misrepresented to customers that Escape Travel had purchased their airline tickets, and/or repeatedly concealed the fact that defendants had failed to purchase" the tickets, according to the lawsuit.

The result was that "numerous customers arrived at O'Hare Airport on their scheduled departure date only to learn they could not travel because airline tickets had not been purchased," according to the suit.  When people tried to get refunds, they would find the travel agency closed, or be given checks that turned out to be drawn on empty bank accounts, according to the suit.

Escape Travel also bought several people one-way tickets when the customers had paid for round-trip tickets, stranding several people, according to the suit.

The suit asks for restitution for the customers and the maximum $50,000 in legal penalties against the agency's owners, and asks that they be barred from working in the travel industry for at least five years.

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