CHICAGO (CBS) — A slowdown in travel due to COVID-19 sent an online travel booking company based in Florida out of business – without refunding customers.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke on Wednesday with some Chicagoans scrambling to get their cash back.READ MORE: Driver Stops At Chicago Skyway Toll Bridge After Being Shot; Small Child Was In Car At Time
We came across hundreds of stories online of people who booked plane tickets and hotels with the same online travel company, Bookit.com. Not only are those vacations canceled, but many are out thousands of dollars.
Steve Krabbe of Plainfield and his wife had been planning a honeymoon to Punta Cana. A Lake Zurich family had planned a special anniversary trip, also heading to the Dominican Republic.
“I received an email from Bookit stating that my trip was canceled,” Krabbe said. “I found out that they were shut down operations because of the COVID-19.”
Online company Bookit.com went belly up, disappearing overnight. The empty airports forced Bookit to take off – with their customers’ cash.READ MORE: MISSING: Tristan Whigham, 1, Last Seen In Uptown
“I’m out about $2,500,” Krabbe said. “I don’t want to lose that trip. I don’t want to lose my honeymoon.”
“There’s losing money, and then there’s just how this was done, which is why I want everyone to know what’s going on,” added Bookit customer Sandra Drevalas.
Bookit.com’s phone line is quiet – no refunds there. But noise is being made online – with more than 700 people sharing similar stories of being swindled by Bookit.com.
“I can’t get the refund from American (Airlines), because Bookit paid for it through their checks, so the refund was going right to Bookit,” Krabbe said.
“Honestly, just give us our money back,” Drevalas said. “You can’t deliver on what you promised to deliver, then refund us our money back.”MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Steamy Heat Through Midweek
In addition to Bookit’s phone line being dead, the emails we sent to the company bounced – just like those who are trying to get their money back we too are waiting for call as well.