July 24, 2024

Adventure Destinations League

Navigating Travel Wonders

Siouxland travel agent under investigation after families say they paid but didn’t receive vacations

NORTH SIOUX CITY, SD (KTIV) – A North Sioux City travel agent is under criminal investigation, according to the city’s police chief.

This comes after multiple families have complained their trips were canceled without permission… and they’re out of a lot of money North Sioux City Police Chief Rich Headid says four complaints have been filed against Kayla Wagner and her business called KLW Travels.

Imagine this: You arrive in a foreign country for vacation with your family, only to be told you don’t have any transportation or anywhere to stay. That was the reality for one family. For another, they arrived at the airport only to be told their flights were reserved but never paid for.

These families tell a similar story: That they paid for their vacations through KLW Travels, either in part or in full, but their vacations were canceled without their knowledge.

Holly Baker says her vacation group is owed more than $20,000 after they arrived in Cancun Mexico, but found they didn’t have transportation or accommodations. That’s four different families, Baker says, that paid out of pocket to continue their vacation.

“(With) 10 kids and a very popular time to travel. I, I can’t even describe how our group was feeling like,” said Baker.

It wasn’t until Baker and her group returned home and made a post about her experience with KLW Travels that she realized the full extent of the problem. That post has dozens of comments, including from other families who had their own trip canceled.

Sarah Zupp says her group is owed some $16,000.

“We have contacted each other because we have both shared the similar experience,” said Sarah Zupp, another impacted traveler. “I want my money back. And I want her to be held accountable for putting people through this and I want her business done. I don’t want her to be able to do this to anybody else.”

We went to North Sioux City at the listed address for KLW Travels to see if the business is still in operation after these allegations or what the status might be.

We went inside and there was no sign KLW Travels is there anymore. The window has plastic over it, there are no remnants of the travel agency. In fact it looks like renovations are currently underway.

Kayla Wagner, the travel agent, declined our request for an on-camera interview.

In a statement, Wagner says in part, “We want to categorically state that these rumors are baseless and inaccurate. Our company is legitimate, fully licensed, and bonded, and we take pride in conducting our business with the highest ethical standards.”

In a phone interview, Wagner tells KTIV the cancellation claims have been submitted to her travel insurance. Both families KTIV spoke with question if this is proper.

Donnie Holstein, a member of Baker’s party, contacted the travel agent’s vendor, who provided documentation that their trip was canceled before their trip even started.

“Mine was dated February 6,” he said. “But again, we left on the 15th for our trips. So she was well aware that we didn’t have a place to stay.”

Here is the rest of Wagner’s statement. It reads: “We are actively addressing these issues through proper legal channels and are working closely with our travel insurance providers to resolve any claims or disputes.”

“We want to assure our clients, partners, and the community that we are handling this situation professionally and in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

“We appreciate your understanding and continued support as we navigate through this challenging time.”