Pinoys file case vs travel agency in Arizona

By Fleur Magbanua-Mansur, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jun 21 2012 04:14 PM | Updated as of Jun 22 2012 12:37 AM

PHOENIX - A group of Filipinos filed a complaint against a local travel agency in Phoenix for allegedly selling them airline tickets to the Philippines without actually remitting their payment to the airlines.

The complaint was filed at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Owned by Dan Neihold who is married to a Filipina, AC Travel reportedly also asked customers to pay in cash to avail of discounts on their tickets.

Eliza Vasquez, a postal office worker, said she was shocked to find out that the ticket she booked through AC Travel was allegedly not purchased by the agency.

She said she had been saving her money to visit her ailing mother in the Philippines whom she last saw four years ago.

“I called Hawaiian Airlines. They said you don’t have a ticket. You didn’t buy your ticket yet. So there’s no confirmation. What happened?” said Vasquez.

Rey Garcia said he bought his ticket from AC Travel on April 19. He said he was at the airport on the morning of May 16 for his flight, only to find out that his ticket was voided by the airline four hours earlier reportedly due to voided funds by AC Travel.

“I was there expecting to fly pero sabi sa akin ng staff wala daw. Wala daw akong valid ticket,” said Garcia.

Dan Neihold issued a statement to Balitang America via email to answer the allegations.

He said: “I want to apologize to everyone who is involved in this. I am trying to compile a list of everyone who may have a claim against AC Travel. Do not come by the office. I closed the office May 15th.”

Niehold also asked complainants to mail copies of their receipts and tickets to their Glendale, Arizona office. However, he did not mention if he will issue any refund.

Despite Niehold’s apology, the alleged victims said they are determined to pursue the case in court.

“Hindi yun ang case e. Ang panloloko nya sa amin, sa maraming tao hindi lang ako," Vasquez said