SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — At least 14 customers of a group of Bay Area travel agencies have filed complaints, alleging they were sold worthless plane tickets to China, Hong Kong and other places in Asia.
In some of the cases, customers said they paid more than $1,000 per ticket.
A group of customers gathered Monday outside one of the businesses, Amuse Travel in San Francisco’s Chinatown. They posted a handwritten sign in Chinese outside the now-closed store on Stockton Street calling the business “shameless.” One customer explained that he only discovered his e-ticket were no-good after he got to the airport.
Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation
Three other travel agencies, operated by the same company, R&J International Travel Group, have also closed down in recent days. State records list those agencies as doing business under the names: “Just Holiday” and “Asia Journeys.”
KPIX 5 ConsumerWatch attempted to reach the president of the company, Raymond Siu, but was not successful.
“It’s a terrible situation,” said Joe Ridout of the group Consumer Action.
Ridout said many of those who have contacted his organization for help say they were required to pay for their tickets in cash. As a result, they have no credit card protections.
Travel experts said California consumers who’ve been defrauded by travel agencies can and should contact the Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation. The corporation is supposed to reimburse customers whose travel agents go belly up, close up shop, or don’t live up to their end of the bargain.
Licensed travel agents in the Golden State are required to pay into the fund each year.