Ticket to nowhere leaves families out of thousands
Clients say owner of AllFlight Travel & Tours took money, never delivered trips
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Imagine booking the vacation of your dreams, only to arrive at the airport to find out that you're going nowhere.
Local 10 News found a South Florida travel agency that clients allege has conned hopeful vacationers out of money and memories, leaving them with packed bags and a whole bunch of heartbreak.
They are families that thought they had booked vacations, buying thousands of dollars in airline tickets with Hannah Capistrano of Miramar-based AllFlight Travel & Tours. In most cases, when they arrive at the ticket counter or call the airline to confirm their reservation, they learn the reservations were either made and then canceled due to non-payment or were never booked. Promised refund checks have yet to be delivered and the complainants claim they can't get a hold of her.
Complaints are surfacing across the country. There is Dana Jetton, a post office worker in North Carolina, who is out $2,985. Ohio resident Conrado Riel is still fighting to be refunded $6,500. Cecilia Garcia of Miami told the attorney general's office she spent $5,090 on four tickets for an "Asian trip," but no tickets were received. She adds that "no refund (was) received as well."
Redelia Raboca, Michael Howard and Cristina Chan of South Florida share similar storylines. They had plans to travel to the Philippines. They had been referred to Capistrano by a friend who they said offered them a promotional fare. To take advantage of the deal, they told Local 10, Capistrano told them they had to act quickly and deposit the money in cash into her bank account.
Howard, a retired serviceman, was going to the Philippines with a group for a family reunion following the death of his wife. Raboca had to travel to the Philippines to take part in a wedding. Like many other complainants, the trip was time-sensitive. Families told Local 10 they found themselves tapping into credit cards, a 401K and borrowing money from friends and family to pay for even more expensive tickets at the last minute to still make the journey.
Of all the cases Local 10 reviewed, no one lost more money than the Villacastin family from Hernando, Florida. Alexander Villacastin said his family wired $20,390 for 12 round-trip tickets from Tampa to the Philippines. When the tickets turned out to be a bust and never booked, they wound up stuck with a $25,000 credit card bill in order to still make the trip to attend his 50th wedding anniversary. The family is still waiting for a full refund.
Now grappling with financial and emotional stress, many families don't just want a refund -- they want Capistrano arrested.
All numbers listed for Capistrano state her mailbox is full. She has not returned text messages or email sent by Local 10. The address listed for her Miramar business is the address listed on property records as her home, located in the gated community of Silver Shores.
When Local 10 knocked on the door, no one answered. Neighbors said they have not seen her in weeks. Local 10 also contacted the attorney listed for Capistrano on a pending civil suit but did not hear back.
According the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, AllFlight Travel & Tours is not currently licensed as a travel agency. The Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean has issued an alert.
Christopher Mercado told the attorney general's office he was planning on traveling from Miami to Australia.
"I was told that if I want to lock in the promotion, I should pay in full that day, so I deposited $7,000 into AllFlight Travel & Tours Inc.'s account for all four round-trip flights," he said.
The day before he was to depart, Mercado learned his reservation was not confirmed.
He said Capistrano offered to "pay for the one-way flight for four people on my credit card and receive reimbursement for the overpriced last-minute flights charged on my credit card. She also promised me half of the $7,000 I gave initially for all the flights because of the inconvenience this caused. When I returned back to Miami, I realized that Hannah charged my credit card again for four one-way return trips. I never authorized her to do that. She never responds to my calls, and she barely responds by text. ...When she finally responded by text, she states that she did not charge me, and that someone else accidentally charged my credit card. She also told me that they will reimburse me all the money charged on my credit card plus half of the $7,000 I gave her for the whole trip. It is now Oct. 28 and I have not yet received any reimbursement. At this time, I am owed a sum of $13,155."
Miramar police said they have received numerous complaints that they are investigating.
To find more complaints about AllFlight Travel & Tours, read the review on the Better Business Bureau's website.
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