Barkingside travel agent gave families ‘fake’ holiday tickets
PUBLISHED: 08:50 26 October 2012
A travel agent which gave “fake” holiday tickets after taking thousands of pounds from customers has left people asking why their holidays were never booked in the first place.
Felton Travel, State Parade, High Street, Barkingside, which ceased trading at the end of August, failed to book customers’ holidays and flights with many not finding out until they arrived at the airport or holiday destination.
Howard Johnston, 52, of Herent Drive, Clayhall, paid £1,500 to go to Bulgaria.
He said: “I have a list of 20 people which Felton Travel took money from amounting to around £120,000. I sent this to police along with the fake e-ticket that I was given, but they tell me they can’t do anything because the company has gone into liquidation despite no liquidators being appointed.”
A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said the “company ceased trading due to insolvency”.
He added: “ABTA is aware of a number of passengers that may have been issued with invalid documentation. This is an unacceptable [and] highly unusual practice.”
Grandfather Michael Fresco, 66, of Chigwell, who was set to fly to Majorca with his family after paying £4,533, said: “I contacted Thomson holidays who told me my holiday was never booked. I sent the evidence to police who don’t seem to want to do anything.
“It appears as if the owner had no intention of booking my holiday. He took my money and gave me fake tickets. I am so confused at the lack of action by the authorities.”
Mr Fresco added: “All we get told is James Felton has gone insolvent, but that doesn’t explain why my holiday wasn’t booked almost two months before.”
A spokesman for Trading Standards said there have been 11 complaints made since April through the Citizens Advice consumer service but they are not investigating as there were “no specific trading standards offences”.
ABTA is investigating and customers are advised to contact them via www.abta.com.
Felton Travel failed to comment on the claims.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.