Week of flight and 7 months after order, traveler seeks tickets

DELANO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — An exclusive Eyewitness News investigation into a Delano travel agent ended up helping a customer finally get results.

Liza Rosales said that she saved for two years so she could take her children and mother to the Philippines to see their grandparents. She lost her husband to a heart attack two years ago, and since then, she has wanted to reunite with family in the Philippines. The goal was for this Christmas.

So, she said when she handed over a hard-earned $5,000 to a Delano travel agency in May, she expected tickets back the same day. But seven stressful months later, she still did not have a single ticket. Another travel agency associated with the International Air Transport Association, UniGlobe, explained the proper protocol.

"When you walk in with the money, you walk out with tickets the same day,” said Sara Reshaw, a travel agent for UniGlobe Travel in Bakersfield. When asked about Rosales’ ticket troubles, Reshaw said, “I think there's malfeasance."

The travel agency Rosales used was Bukang Liwayway International Shippers and Travel, located inside the Sikaran Arnis Academy, a martial arts dojo. The owner, Hair Osias C. Banaag, took her money, and, after that, Rosales said he never bothered to contact her.

"What really upset me is he doesn't call me,” said Rosales. “He doesn't say, 'I haven't called you, I haven't processed your tickets because of so and so and so.' No, I would have to call him and find out myself what's going on."

Eyewitness News helped Rosales confront Banaag just five days before her planned flight. Banaag claimed it was a business associate, who he called his “consolidator,” who had failed to get the tickets. When Eyewitness News ask him to give the name of his “consolidator," he replied, “No, I can't do that."

Banaag ended up giving Rosales three out of the four tickets the next day. As of the writing of this article, he still has not booked the fourth ticket. The flight leaves on Wednesday.