Bonner Springs woman says travel agent cursed at her, hasn’t returned her money

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Update: Mrs. Torrence- Bey told us she received the check from her travel agent on Thursday. Problem Solved!

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. -- An 84-year-old widow, who's a seasoned traveler has a warning about a travel agent she says she'll never use again.

Helen Torrence-Bey has a houseful of reminders of her well-traveled life, but the trips stopped for the retired Bonner Springs social worker four years ago when her husband passed away.

Then, last year, a St. Louis friend invited her on a Caribbean cruise.

"It was a group of women, all seniors," Torrence-Bey said.

To catch the cruise, she flew from St. Louis on September 6th.  The problem started when her connecting flight from Houston to Orlando was cancelled because of mechanical problems. She, along with 15 other people, missed the cruise.
Thank goodness she bought travel insurance. It reimbursed her $500, the maximum allowed under the portion of the policy that covers trip interruptions and delays. She was also eligible for a refund from United Airlines, since the cancelled flight was the airline's fault.

That's when her troubled trip got even worse.

United Airlines told her travel agent Jake Thompson of KHM had been reimbursed for the flight on his credit card and she would have to get the money from him.

Torrence-Bey was shocked to learn Thompson had put the tickets on his credit card since her credit card was also billed for the flight. When she called Jake to request he send her the refund, she said she was shocked by his response.

"Yes I got hold of him, but he talks to me like a dog," Torrence-Bey said, shaking her head. "He even uses curse words."

FOX 4 Problem Solvers called KHM, the company Jake works for. KHM told us that Thompson was no longer an agent for them because he violated company policy when he put Torrence-Bey's airline ticket and those of many others on his own credit card.

KHM said it had strongly encouraged Thompson to return the money, but suggested we also talk to him to find out why he has yet to follow that advice. Torrence-Bey said he received the money more than a month ago.

Thompson, who lives in O'Fallon, Missouri, assured us he's sending everyone their missing airfare this week. He said he had been holding on to the money because he wanted to make sure it was the correct amount before sending it out.

We're hoping Thompson keeps his word because if he doesn't, KHM tells us it's not its responsibility to solve this problem. KHM said Thompson is an independent contractor, not an employee, which is good to remember if you ever decide to use a KHM agent, something Torrence-Bey said she'll never do again.