61 stranded after tour operator disappears

61 stranded after tour operator disappears

Stranded travellers from Nakhon Ratchasima wait at Suvarnabhumi airport in the early hours of Saturday after learning that there were no reservations for the Japan trip they had paid for.
Stranded travellers from Nakhon Ratchasima wait at Suvarnabhumi airport in the early hours of Saturday after learning that there were no reservations for the Japan trip they had paid for.

SAMUT PRAKAN: Dozens of people from Korat have filed a complaint against their tour operator after they showed up at Suvarnabhumi airport for a trip to Hokkaido that never materialised.

Sixty-one employees of a company in Nakhon Ratchasima filed the complaint at 10pm on Friday.

Nattha Chavathin, one of the group, said she and her friends had planned to go to Hokkaido and contacted a tour operator in the northeastern province to arrange a group tour. The operator had sold Hokkaido packages to company staff before.

Each employee paid 30,000 baht in three monthly instalments. The price included a Thai Airways International round-trip air ticket, accommodation, meals and bus service from Nakhon Ratchasima to Suvarnabhumi. In total, they paid 1.8 million baht to the tour operator.

They were supposed to leave Thailand on the five-day trip on Friday.

At Suvarnabhumi, the tour leader told them to check in at a THAI counter without the need to show tickets. When they did so, THAI staff told them there were no reservations for them.

“When we looked back, the tour leader disappeared. We tried to call him but he wouldn’t pick up so we had to file a complaint,” Ms Nattha said.

Tourist police at the airport took tour leader Pattanant Wongwangchan, 31, into custody and questioned him. They are collecting more information and evidence before sending the case to Nakhon Ratchasima police to take legal action as the case is in their jurisdiction.


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