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Calle Plato hosts the CEPER Ignacio Toledo of Antequera whose students have been left without a trip to England. A.J.G.
UK trip for Spanish students keen to improve their English postponed as group allegedly scammed out of almost 27,000 euros
Crime

UK trip for Spanish students keen to improve their English postponed as group allegedly scammed out of almost 27,000 euros

The 38 students and tutors were due to leave from Malaga Airport on Monday, but by the day of departure they had still not received their airline tickets from the travel agency based on the Costa del Sol

Antonio J. Guerrero

Wednesday, 24 April 2024, 12:04

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A group of 38 students and their tutors have not been able to travel from Malaga province to the United Kingdom to improve their English after realising they were victims of an alleged scam by a travel agency based on the Costa del Sol.

According to María Jesús Morente, one of the teachers in the English department of the CEPER (Centro y Secciones de Educación Permanente) Ignacio de Toledo de Antequera, the incident was reported on Tuesday 23 April at the Antequera National Police station.

A total of 35 students and three staff have lodged a collective complaint in which they stated the travel agency based in Torre del Mar did not send the documentation needed to start the trip on Monday from Malaga Airport - the trip was planned for 22-26 April.

The organisers of the trip contacted the travel agency, but at first they excused themselves for a delay on the part of the airline, then for a broken bone suffered by the manager of the company, and another alleged excuse caused by the non-compliance of the wholesaler, the teacher said.

The CEPER Ignacio Toledo in Antequera whose students have been left without a trip to England.
The CEPER Ignacio Toledo in Antequera whose students have been left without a trip to England. A.J.G.

After not being able to leave for the trip, the group met on Monday and decided to file a complaint with the authorities to demand the return of the 26,975 euros, the sum paid by the entire group. It was supposed to be the end-of-term trip for the four CEPER groups, ranging from the first to the third year and the special B-1 preparation course. Most of those in the group are older people, many of them retired, who were keen to learn more of the English language and practise it in the UK.

Travelling to Oxford to get to know England

"The scheduled trip was from 22 to 26 April, travelling from Malaga to London where we would be transferred to Oxford, and would stay in a hotel with breakfast. From there, each day, we would be taken on an excursion, one day to Stonehenge, another to Windsor Castle and also have a free day in Oxford," Morente said. The price included: airfares, bed and breakfast, transport from the airport and the daily excursion with a guide and entrance to the castle.

Curiously, "last year we had already done it with the same company", after the recommendation of some students and when the trip was proposed again, it was decided to prepare another trip with the same agency. But this time, something wasn't quite right. "The check-in information didn't reach us," said Morente, who contacted the agent. "They told me they wouldn't let her do it because the airline company hadn't activated it," she added.

She called a second time to which the agent said the manager of the agency "had broken a bone and was awaiting surgery". Then again, the day before the date of the trip arrived, and the group still had not received their check-in instructions. "When I told her that we were not on the passenger list, she told me that she did not know what had happened, that she was also a victim," said one of the three teachers.

On Sunday 21 April, the group contacted the hotel in Oxford, but they did not have any reservations in their names. On the planned day of departure "we met to decide what to do" and followed the advice of a lawyer who "told us to make a collective complaint which was presented this Tuesday afternoon".

National Police officers are now investigating the incident.

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