Victim of travel agency scheme returns, family still stuck in Philippines

JJ Otarra

We’re learning more from victims of a local travel agency, one that allegedly took thousands of dollars from families and never booked their plane tickets as promised.

Members of Honolulu Cosmopolitan Church in Kalihi tell us 22 of them bought round-trip tickets to the Philippines from Archipelago Travel.

They left a month ago, but when they tried to get back home, they found out at the airport that they didn’t have return tickets.

Many of them are still stuck in the Philippines.

“My mom was about to cry and my wife, my dad was so mad me,” said victim JJ Otarra. “I can’t explain how I feel. It’s just, we don’t know what to do. We had nothing.”

Otarra flew back Thursday morning with a few relatives, but he’s still trying to get the money to bring his wife and three-year-old daughter back home.

He says the woman who owns Archipelago Travel checked them in at Honolulu International Airport, so they had no idea they were only one-way tickets.

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