Photos: Irish Tadian Manabogan, Wikimedia Commons, Timatrrio

Around 200 Filipina domestic workers traveling home for Christmas were stranded at Hong Kong International Airport from Sunday after their plane tickets, issued by Peya Travel, were said to be unpaid.

The stranded passengers were told by airline staff that the travel agency had failed to pay for their tickets, sunwebhk.com reports.

Rhea Donna Boyce, owner of Peya Travel, said the booking problem might have been caused by a technical glitch. She managed to rebook the tickets for 100 stranded passengers.

However, on Monday, another 100 domestic workers faced the same problem.

Leah Nicolas, Hong Kong manager of Philippine Airlines, said the carrier had taken passengers before who had booked their tickets through Peya Travel but had never encountered any such problems.

Many domestic workers went to Peya Travel in Worldwide Plaza, in Hong Kong’s Central district, to complain and demand a refund for their tickets. Most of them had to pay from between HK$3,000 (US$384) to HK$5,000 (US$639) for their plane tickets to the Philippines.

Arnold Grospe, sales director of Peya Travel, said he was unsure of what had happened but that it was likely there was a virus in the booking system.

Many of the stranded passengers sought help from the Philippine Consulate. Roderick Atienza, acting head of post, said the situation remained unclear. “There is really not much that we can do at this point because we still don’t know what really happened,” he said.

Update: More Filipinos stuck at airport, travel agent apologizes

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