Travelers stranded after ticket scam, court hears

A travel agent took more than $25,000 in cash from customers but failed to provide them with valid airline tickets, a court heard Tuesday.

A sign outside the door of Sea 2 Sky Travel Agency in August 2012 telling customers to go to police about delinquent tickets. - PHOTO: STUART WILSON
A sign outside the door of Sea 2 Sky Travel Agency in August 2012 directing customers to go to police about delinquent tickets.

Ingrid Scott, who ran the business Sea 2 Sky Travel in George Town, has denied 29 counts of “obtaining by deception” in connection with the allegations.

Several customers did not realize their travel documents were not valid until they arrived at the airport, Crown prosecutor Toyin Salako said as she opened the case in Grand Court, Monday.

She said Ms. Scott had provided her customers with a travel itinerary, falsely telling them that was all they would need to make the trip.

The customers paid for the trips, which ranged from flights to Jamaica and Canada to as far afield as India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

“In each of the cases we are concerned with, it was cash that was handed over. None of them were able to take the flight they had paid for. They either had to forgo their holiday or pay again,” said Ms. Salako.

She said Ms. Scott was responsible for the day-to-day business of Sea 2 Sky Travel, with a partner providing the financing. She said the business had previously experienced cash flow problems, which Ms. Scott had indicated to her business partner were connected to her giving some customers tickets on credit.

Ms. Salako added that it was not the Crown’s intention to say what Ms. Scott had done with the money she obtained from the 29 customers on the indictment, saying it could be a case of “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” “When each of those customers sat opposite Ms. Scott and planned out their trip, they believed they were handing over cash for one reason and one reason only – their ticket to travel.

“She falsely represented to them, that is what she was going to do, to purchase on their behalf a ticket to travel. She knew full well that she was not going to use that cash for its intended purpose.”

The trial was continuing Tuesday afternoon.