Estafa complaints filed against travel agency

THIRTY persons lodged formal complaints before the Mabolo Police Station in Cebu City against Air You Go Travels Philippines Co., a Cebu City-based travel tour agency.

M/Sgt. Lester Dajao, the station desk officer, said the complainants came from Cebu and Bohol.

“They filed estafa case against the owner of the Air You Go Travels and the agency itself. As of this week, most of the amounts involved range from P20,000 to P200,000. They bought tickets and made a booking but they weren’t able to avail themselves of the trip. They already paid online,” he said in Cebuano.

Air You Go offers travel and accommodation packages for both local and international destinations.

In its official Facebook page, the Department of Tourism (DOT) posted an advisory against the travel agency on Sept. 9, 2019 after it received several complaints against Air You Go.

“The initial investigation undertaken by the department proved that Air You Go has been fraudulently using the official DOT logo in its website www.airyougotravels.com and on its Facebook account-Air You Go Travels Experience. The DOT wishes to clarify that the above-cited enterprise/ establishment is NOT accredited by the DOT,” read a portion of the advisory.

DOT 7 Director Shalimar Tamano said they would also look into the matter.

“We will check on it on Monday,” he said in a text message to SunStar Cebu on Saturday, Sept. 21.

In an interview with Superbalita Cebu, Jane, real name withheld, said they were scheduled to travel abroad on the second week of September this year, but their trip was canceled due to the travel agency’s internal “problems.”

“We already paid the amount last June. We were supposed to travel on Sept. 9, but only three out of the six in our group were issued plane tickets. Also, they were not able to pay for our hotel accommodation though we already gave them our payments,” she said.

Jane said they received a text message from the travel agency on the day they were supposed to leave, asking for forgiveness that it could not deliver what it promised.

Jane said the agency’s chief executive officer also told her about his differences with his former business partner, whom he blamed for the “mess” the travel agency is currently in.

On Sept. 16, Air You Go posted on its Facebook page that it was able to assist affected clients and was able to process their bookings.

The travel agency also provided schedules for its clients’ refunds. The first batch will get theirs on Oct. 4; second batch, Oct. 11; third batch, Oct. 18; and the fourth batch, on Oct. 25.

Air You Go’s office in Cebu City is temporarily closed for the “safety” of its employees after they allegedly received several death threats.

“We have transferred to a neutral place for us to better assist our affected clients,” reads a portion of the post.

An agent of the travel agency who asked not to be named told SunStar Cebu they could not issue further statements without the approval of their manager. (WBS, BBT of Superbalita Cebu)