Travel Agent NewsCathay Pacific offers to help stranded Indonesian maids.

Shock closure of Hong Kong agency hits domestic helpers

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Free Spirit Travel has closed its doors, affecting hundreds of travellers.
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According to the TIC, HK$1.2 million (US$153,000) worth of tickets have been affected, causing disruption to approximately 460 travellers, mainly Indonesia domestic workers in Hong Kong, many of whom have not been home for a number of years.

The Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) has suspended the licence of Free Spirit Travel in Causeway Bay after the agency closed its doors on Wednesday.

According to the TIC, HK$1.2 million (US$153,000) worth of tickets have been affected, causing disruption to approximately 460 travellers, mainly Indonesia domestic workers in Hong Kong, many of whom have not been home for a number of years.

Many tearful travellers called airlines directly, only to discover their tickets were invalid.

While Cathay Pacific Airways wasn’t a partner of Free Spirit Travel, a spokesperson said, “We understand the frustration and concerns of affected passengers and we stand ready to assist as much as we can.

“Special offers to Jakarta and Surabaya are available to domestic helpers working in Hong Kong. Passengers can contact us via our global contact centres or on social media.”

The Unfair Trade Practice Investigation Group is probing the sudden closure of the Free Spirit business.

If the company intended to take money without providing services, it would violate the Trade Descriptions Ordinance leading to a potential penalties maxing five years’ jail time and a fine of HK$500,000 (US$63,717).


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