Action 9 investigates Elite Cruise Options travel agency



ORLANDO,Fla. - Action 9 investigates a travel agency that many customers claim took their cash for big name cruises and trips that it never booked.

"She needs to be stopped from taking money from other folks," said Connie Becker.

"I'm amazed that nobody's done anything about it," said Patricia Beling.

There are thousands owed in vacation refunds, travel charges customers claim they never agreed to and cruises paid for but never booked.

Matt McCallister said he called Disney Cruise Lines.

"I was told they had no clue who I was, never entered into their database, I was never booked on a cruise," said McCallister.

Action 9 has complaints from 10 customers and found an additional 17 at the Better Business Bureau and 27 complaints filed with the state.

At least 27 families claim they were badly burned by Kathleen Caron and her travel agency, Elite Cruise Options.
McCallister said the agency owes his family nearly $3,000.

"Since then, I called her 20 times. I sent her 10 emails. She will not respond," said McCallister.

Some consumers said they had success booking a first vacation through Elite but second attempts were nightmares.

Becker filed complaints with police and state investigators and then the agency promised refunds. That was weeks ago.

"Case closed. She's dealing with it and she's not dealing with anything," said Becker.

The agency's address is also Kathleen Caron's home, where Action 9's Todd Ulrich found its co-manager, Paul Karagezian. He is the man some customers said they turned to for refunds.

"They can't get their money back?" Ulrich asked Karagezian.

"They can," said Karagezian.

"How?" Ulrich asked.

"We're dealing with it," said Karagezian.

A spokesman told Action 9 that Kathleen Caron paid many refunds, and blamed problems on last-minute cancellations and a disgruntled customer who sabotaged her business.

Beling, McCallister and Becker said they only got partial refunds that barely cover their losses.

"I can't afford to lose that money," said Becker.

The Division of Consumer Services said it is formally investigating Elite Cruise Options.