Couple loses prepaid vacation after travel agency closes

By Angie Angers, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A couple who booked a dream vacation through a local travel agency is out thousands of dollars. 

  • Couple loses prepaid vacation after travel agency closes
  • Patricia and Al Amore went through Legendary Journeys
  • Dozens of families affected

Their trip was paid in full months ago, but their cruise reservation was never made--and they weren't the only ones left without a trip. 

Now the state is getting involved in the investigation that has affected dozens of families. 

Patricia and Al Amore booked the MSC Seaside's transatlantic cruise through the Sarasota-based travel agency Legendary Journeys, and the cruise line never got their payment. 

The ship departed from Venice, Italy as scheduled last week, but the Amore's weren't on it. 

"We'd be getting on the ship, and probably visiting Spain right now," Patricia said. 

All they have left is a travel guide complete with a hand-written room number--one they didn't get to see. 

"To lose that money....I could have had better uses for it than to just hand it to a company," Patricia said. 

All of Legendary Journeys' locations across the state shut down abruptly back in October. The owner said at the time he was planning to sell off all of the company's assets, which included the six unit storefront in Sarasota, in order to pay back each of the affected customers. 

The headquarters are empty but the signs are still up and two tour vans sit in the parking lot. A note taped on the door directs customers to their insurance company and the Florida Department of Financial Services. 

The Amores said they already tried to get their money back through trip insurance, but so far no luck. 

"They they told us no, we don't pay if tis a travel agency going out of business. We only pay if it's tours, if the ship cancels, that's the only time we pay. Then we went back to the travel agent and he said well we're not a travel agency, we're a tour company. So they should pay," Patricia said. 

Patricia said they heard back from Legendary Journeys owner Al Furgeson on Dec. 1. In an email he stated the company has paid more than $750,000 in claims for trips that were never scheduled and all customers who paid with a card have gotten their money back. 

But the Amores paid by check. 

While they're not confident they'll see their money again, they plan to file a claim with the state.

Bay News 9 tried to reach out to the owner numerous times, but he has not answered the requests. He told customers shortly after the company closed in October that they would be reimbursed by the end of the year.