Some customers confirm repayments
Police are investigating complaints from passengers who claim they paid for air tickets to Jamaica but were turned away at the check-in desk after being told the travel company had not completed thier booking.
Detective Chief Inspector Raymond Christian of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Financial Crime Unit said there had been a number of complaints this week from passengers who bought tickets from Cayman 123 Travel.
Police say there have been a total of 12 complaints about the same issue since December last year.
A crowd of angry customers gathered outside the travel company on Eastern Avenue on Tuesday morning, waving receipts and demanding to be reimbursed. Eventually a representative from the company showed up and told the passengers they would be repaid.
Karissa Cameron, who said she was one of a number of passengers who were turned away from the Tuesday morning flight to Kingston, confirmed in a phone call from Jamaica that she had been reimbursed for the cost of the ticket after waiting all day at the agency. She said she booked a new ticket directly from Cayman Airways and flew to Jamaica on Wednesday morning.
She said other passengers who had waited with her had also been reimbursed and had been able to make their flights on Wednesday.
It was not clear on Thursday whether all affected passengers had been repaid. The business owner, Theresa Chin, again declined to make any comment on the situation.
The business was closed Thursday morning and the Cayman 123 Travel logo and branding had been removed from the storefront window, though the telephone number and other details remained.
A sign tacked to the door advised of a “temporary closure” until April 13 and apologized for any inconvenience.
Police say they received a complaint last Thursday from a passenger who had purchased a ticket through the company. But the issue was resolved between the person and the company, and the complaint was withdrawn.
Chief Inspector Christian said further complaints had been made this week and an investigation had been launched. He said he was liaising with other departments to determine exactly how many passengers had made reports to the police.
In an official press release later on Thursday, the RCIPS, said “Since December 2014, 12 complaints have been received by RCIPS concerning a named Travel Agency, on Eastern Avenue, receiving cash from customers for ticket purchases. However when travelers show up at the Owen Roberts International Airport to check in, no transactions for the airline tickets have been recorded on the airline reservation database.”
Anyone affected may call the Financial Crime Unit on 949-8797.