The Travel Industry Council has confirmed that 460 travelers will be affected after they received a shutdown notice from a travel agency in Hong Kong.
Free Spirit Travel Co Ltd in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, which specializes in selling air-tickets from Hong Kong to Indonesia, told the council on Wednesday that it had gone bankrupt, Apple Daily reported.
The 460 travelers affected are mainly Indonesian domestic workers, who may have lost a combined HK$1.2 million (US$152,874).
There was no one working at the travel agency’s office at Progress Commercial Building on 9 Irving Street in Causeway Bay – just a notice posted on the door saying the company had closed down – on Thursday (May 30).
An employer surnamed Lam said her Indonesian domestic worker received a WhatsApp message from a staffer at Free Spirit at 10pm on Wednesday, alleging that the boss of the agency had fled and told them there was no need to go to the airport because there were no air-tickets to give to customers.
Lam’s domestic worker was supposed to get a 9am flight on Thursday back to Jakarta.
The woman’s maid was very worried, so Lam helped her to check with the travel agency but got no reply. Lam also called the airline but it said the maid’s ticket was not valid.
Lam said she would buy the worker another ticket, so she hoped the maid could leave Hong Kong on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, police confirmed that they had received reports about the travel agency shutting down suddenly.
According to existing law, travelers who “only” buy air-tickets from a travel agency are not protected by the Travel Industry Compensation Fund.