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Travel Agencies

January 23, 1996
Helin Organization, a meeting management and incentive travel agency, has been acquired by Ambassadors International Inc. of Spokane, Wash., in an exchange of stock. Terms were not disclosed. Ambassadors International organizes, markets and operates international educational travel programs for students and adults.
August 18, 2013 | By Catharine Hamm
Horrendous storms. Political unrest. Sleep deprivation. Those are some of the issues that have tripped up travelers this summer. The inbox overflows with readers' complaints about various airlines, of course, but this year we've seen another theme that involves trouble when that traveler has booked through a third party - that is, not directly with the airline. Taking a deep breath, we'll plunge in and try to explain how to deal with troubles that might befall you if you've booked through an online travel agency, then entice you with an upcoming tale of the low-cost-but-riskier consolidator ticket.
April 28, 2000
A member of a ring that robbed travel agencies in the San Fernando Valley was sentenced Thursday to a year in county jail and three years' probation, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Oswaldo Arevalo, 34, was also ordered by Superior Court Judge Gregg Marcus to pay about $1,800 in restitution to travel agency owner Myong Siemen, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Keri Modder. The Van Nuys man had pleaded no contest to one count of robbery.
February 7, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The International Airlines Travel Agent Network has launched a free mobile app that can locate more than 20,000 travel agencies in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The idea is to give travelers a quick way of finding a professional travel agent at their fingertips. The deal: The Travel Agents app is free for iPhone and iPads as well as Android and BlackBerry devices. Just go to the relevant app store and download. IATAN, a nonprofit organization that's part of the larger airline trade group International Air Transport Assn ., has compiled information for the app from travel agents who meet their accreditation standards.
October 7, 1994
Benita Mikailian, 40, of Glendale was found shot to death Thursday morning in the small travel agency she owned, police reported. An unidentified person reported the shooting at 8:30 a.m., police spokesman Chahe Keuroghelian said. She was declared dead by the coroner's office at her business, Travel Town, in the 1100 block of North Brand Boulevard. Police declined to say how many times she was shot. "We have no motive at this point," Keuroghelian said.
September 5, 1995 | Associated Press
Carolyn Rice didn't mind traveling solo. But when a friend placed a personal ad seeking a fellow traveler and ended up with a spouse, Rice thought, why not take her chances? So Rice called Travel Companion Exchange Inc. of Amityville, N.Y., one of the few travel agencies nationwide catering to the 40% of Americans who are single, widowed or divorced.
January 28, 1988
Officials of a defunct Whittier travel operation have agreed to pay $20,000 in civil penalties and attorney fees to settle a consumer lawsuit charging that the agency did not make arrangements for hundreds of travelers who paid in advance, Atty. Gen. John K. Van de Kamp said Wednesday. The settlement was entered in Superior Court against Jet Exchange and its managers, Jorg Haussecker, Barbara Haussecker and Cora Haussecker.
November 3, 1989 | From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports
A suspected member of a theft ring believed responsible for a rash of holdups at travel agencies was in jail today after being charged with a robbery of a Granada Hills agency, authorities said. Ricardo Castro, 49, who lives in the Melrose District of Los Angeles, was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail at the Los Angeles County Jail after being charged Thursday with robbery, Deputy Dist. Atty. Norm Montrose said.
An airline industry group issued a crime alert Thursday to Southern California travel agents amid a string of armed robberies in which gunmen have made off with thousands of blank tickets potentially worth millions of dollars. The warning came hours before three men barged into Petro Shore Travel in Westlake Village with guns drawn, tied up employees and made off with an undisclosed number of blank tickets, authorities said.
They've lugged a 350-pound cement safe down a flight of stairs. Bashed through a wall with a sledgehammer. Pried open a safe bolted firmly to the floor. All in pursuit of a small metal plate and a fistful of paper. In the past 10 months, a criminal ring has ripped through Ventura County travel agencies, snatching hundreds of blank airline tickets and validation plates embossed with a secret code.
January 15, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY -- Cubans now for the first time have the right to travel off the island without a special exit permit, the latest in reforms that the communist government is slowly enacting in hopes of reinvigorating its troubled economy. The new and much-anticipated regulation went into effect Monday. Eager to take advantage, Cubans lined up from early hours and all day long outside travel agencies and the state offices that issue passports. Remarkably, it appeared that several longtime Cuban dissidents who have been repeatedly denied permission to travel will also be allowed to leave from and, importantly, return to Cuba.
August 19, 2012 | By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times
Instead of the usual question-and-answer format this week, I'll address a question that's the equivalent of a bug bite on the behind for leisure travelers: Isn't anybody watching out for us? Our business travel brethren seem to get all the love and attention from travel providers. It's not that they don't deserve it; road warriors have a tough, well, road, juggling regular work with irregular travel schedules. They get perks for the frequency with which they do this. The leisure traveler generally does not, and it does leave us feeling as though we're not Mom's favorite.
May 14, 2012 | Hugo Martin
It was a tough week for the Transportation Security Administration, but on at least one issue the federal agency may have scored a small victory. The TSA was on the defensive during congressional hearings last week over charges that it has wasted money by storing hundreds of pieces of screening equipment, including full-body scanners, in warehouses in Texas. The TSA's top financial officer, David Nicholson, defended the agency, saying it has cut its warehouse costs from $7.6 million in 2009 to $3.5 million in 2011.
January 29, 2012 | By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Think of what follows as a travel tapas buffet - tidbits that just might whet your appetite for more. Here are a dozen pieces of information for the 2012 traveler. 1. You will know how much you'll pay to check your bags when you're flying. The Department of Transportation this month denied requests to delay implementation of this rule, so as of last week, you will know what you'll pay if you decide to check a bag or another piece of luggage. This, of course, applies to the majority of us who aren't flying in first or business class, aren't elite frequent fliers or haven't paid with a credit card that gives us free baggage check.
January 16, 2011 | By Jane Engle, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Call it "The Case of the Disappearing Flights. " Recent visitors to two big websites that help travelers shop for airline tickets may have noticed a missing player: American Airlines. In a dispute over how American's flights are displayed and at what cost, the third-largest U.S. carrier in December pulled its fares from Orbitz, one of the top five online travel agencies. Expedia, the biggest such agency, soon stopped listing American too. Then Texas-based Sabre Holdings Corp., the largest provider of airfares to online travel agencies (including Expedia)
April 19, 2009
Regarding Catharine Hamm's "If You Need a Pro" on finding a good travel agent ["On the Spot," April 12]. There are several good sources for finding reputable travel professionals: American Society of Travel Agents: All travel agents in this directory are ASTA members and adhere to a code of ethics. Virtuoso: Virtuoso is the world's most exclusive network of travel advisors, with only 1% of travel agencies invited to join. Signature Travel Network: www.signaturetravelnetwork.
October 20, 1994 | From Reuters
Business travelers who think that just about every idea in the frequent-flier world has been tried might want to check this out. Travel Network Ltd. of Chicago has started its own frequent-flier program for tickets bought through its 334 travel agencies--opening the way for double, perhaps even triple, mileage credit for frequent travelers. The company says this is the first time such a promotion has been tried nationally.
Further expanding into the turf of travel agents, United Airlines Inc. and Aliso Viejo-based Inc. said Monday they will open an online travel agency. The new company,, is to launch later this year and would be a full-service online retail travel agency offering deeply discounted airline seats that United currently makes available only through its own Internet presence.
January 1, 2009 | Meg James
Max Abrams had no idea that he was being dragged into a multimillion-dollar corporate war between two media giants when he rolled into the Sherman Oaks headquarters of his father's company, Sober Vacations International, on Wednesday morning. But the first clue that he was caught in the middle of something ugly came in voicemails left overnight on the company's phone answering system. "This one person was mumbling, 'Don't take my Nickelodeon away, you dummies,' " Abrams said in an interview.
August 16, 2008 | Richard Fausset, Times Staff Writer
All around Mario Romero's strip-mall travel agency, this immigrant neighborhood was alive with commercial traffic, all of it moving to a clave rhythm clunking from an outdoor speaker. In and out they went on a sunny Monday morning to the IGA food store, or the Gala hair salon, or La Epoca restaurant for a cafecito. But few stopped in to see Romero. His business, Cojimar Express Services, is one of dozens of Miami-area agencies that hold federal licenses to sell plane tickets to Cuba.
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