Hundreds of Vietnamese people in Toronto, Canada, were unable to travel back to Vietnam for the Tet Lunar New Year festival because they were allegedly cheated by a Vietnamese-run travel retailer accused of selling them fake air tickets.
Dozens of people flocked to an airport on the evening of January 14 and found that their names were not listed as passengers on the flights they thought they had booked.
Some tried to contact Sky Asia Travel, from which they purchased their air tickets. Others remained at the airport to buy other tickets at higher prices that evening.
The following evening, dozens of more people flocked to the airport for their booked flights, but they were also unable to check in.
The group came to report the problem to local police.
On the morning of January 16, more than 100 outraged customers rushed to Sky Asia Travel office and demanded an explanation.
Police kept the crowd calm by instructing them in how to get their money back.
The customers were shocked to know that the papers they brought with them to the airport were just reservation papers, not e-tickets. Sky Asia Travel had booked their seats, but it then used the money the customers paid several months ago for other purposes.
Vietnamese people in Canada usually buy air tickets back to Vietnam 3-4 months in advance from travel agencies.
Also on January 16, Sky Asia Travel declared bankruptcy by announcing that it voluntarily terminated its Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 registration to do business as a travel retailer.
The company was established later than other travel agencies but it had recently become popular as it offered cheaper air tickets and better services.
Local police are still investigating the company for allegedly scamming customers.
It is suspected that the number of customers who were allegedly scammed by Sky Asia Travel will continue to climb because it had also sold air tickets to customers for flights scheduled next July.
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