ABC 4 investigates Utah travel agency over fake airline tickets

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A West Valley family says a local travel agency took their money, but gave them fake tickets and fake itineraries, and when they demanded a refund they got checks that bounced.

ABC 4 discovered that they are not alone, and found another woman (who did not want to be identified) who says the same agency took her for $700.

Cindy Hill says that her family gave Jose Luis of Panorama Travel nearly $4,000 to make travel arrangements and purchase six round trip tickets to Mexico. She says when they contacted Delta airlines with the itinerary the agency gave them, Delta told the family no tickets had been purchased for them.

She showed ABC 4 the copies.

"This is the first itinerary and these are the false tickets," said Hill.

Hill says she confronted Luis, who then purchased six tickets right in front of her and other family members.

But two days later, Hill said she was told by Delta that Luis canceled the tickets and took the money.

"I'm feeling so frustrated right now, and I can't believe there are people out there like this," said Hill.

Hill says she demanded a refund and Luis cut her six checks. She says all six bounced - insufficient funds. She contacted West Valley Police and says that an officer told her this wasn't the first complaint about the agency.

She filed a report, and also contacted Utah's Consumer Protection Division to file a report to start an investigation.

By the way, the Better Business Bureau gives Panorama Travel an "F" grade.

Another West Valley woman who used Panorama Travel says she didn't realize she had a fake ticket and a bogus itinerary until the day her daughter and other relative were supposed to fly and the airline told her she didn't have a real reservation, even though she had an receipt showing she paid for tickets. Through an interpreter, she told ABC 4 News she feels angry and ripped off.

So ABC 4 went to Panorama's office at 4800 West and 3500 South to ask what was going on.

ABC 4's Don Hudson asked Jose Luis about the bogus tickets for the Hill family.

HUDSON: "She says you tried to give him a fake check. Is this true?"

LUIS: "Its not true. No."

First, Luis denied the fake tickets and bounced checks. Then he said he was going to get them their tickets - right there with our cameras rolling.

HUDSON: "So, you're telling me that this is a real ticket and you have made real reservations for him?"

LUIS: "I have the reservation. I have the ticket number for him."

However, the computer screen didn't look like a real reservation.

When ABC 4's Don Hudson shared that observation, he changed his story.

HUDSON: "So, are you going to refund their money?"

LUIS: "The ticket is non-refundable." He then told us to talk to his lawyer.

We then contacted Cindy Hill, she said after ABC 4 left, Luis called her cell phone and threatened her. She says Luis told her "not to proceed with the matter or she would be in trouble."

ABC 4 News will continue to follow the matter and let you know what happens.

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