Tour Op 6-23-2006

Legal Action Against SunTrips

By: Jenna Convoy

Al Anolik, the attorney representing travel agents who claim to be owed commissions by SunTrips, filed a motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Northern District of California, in San Jose, to force the tour operator into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

However, the law gives SunTrips the right to convert the case to Chapter 11, which would give them the option of reorganizing and resuming business. The filing lists four creditors who claim to be owed a combined total of more than $49,000.

“There were hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars owed. We have hundreds of agents. These were just the first four signatures we got,” Anolik said.

Anolik is not alone in his sentiments. Chris Russo, president of the Rocky Mountain chapter of American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) told TravelAge West: “As of today not one agent that I know of has been paid by SunTrips.”

The motion, filed June 9, is the latest in a series of actions taken over the last several months as part of a class-action lawsuit aimed at retrieving unpaid commissions from SunTrips or its parent company, OneTravel Holdings. The next step in the case is for the judge to set a court date.


Funjet Vacations is helping travelers have “Fun for Sure” by adding a new Hurricane Plan to its existing Pre-Travel Penalty Wavier (PTPW). The plan applies to all hotels and destinations Funjet offers, allowing travelers to cancel for any reason up to the time of departure no questions asked and receive a refund. The Hurricane Plan includes money back for interrupted and unused nights and a $100 per person certificate redeemable for a future vacation.

Fun for Sure is available for $69.99 per person. As an introductory offer, the Hurricane Plan is included free to travelers who purchase the PTPW between July 1-Oct. 31.


Gutsy Women Travel has created an eight-day Magnificent Florence and Tuscany tour, which includes a cooking class, vineyard tour, wine tasting, pizza making, spa treatment, shopping and more.

Departure dates for this year are set for July 8, Sept. 9 and Oct. 7. This trip priced from $2,899 per person, double includes roundtrip flights from New York to Florence (other departure cites available), six nights at the Anglo American in Florence, some meals and activities.

Additionally, clients making a new booking on any Gutsy Women Travel tour by July 31 will receive a $100 savings off the tour price (refer to promo code OPRAPR100 when booking).


Pleasant Holidays is handing travelers the keys in Hawaii this fall, with a free economy-size vehicle from Dollar Rent A Car during vacations between Aug. 20-Dec. 15. In addition, the vehicle will be automatically upgraded. The free-car offer is open to all air-and-hotel-inclusive reservations made through Aug. 15.

Travel professionals can earn reward points and cash from the Pleasant Holidays Travel Reward Incentive Program (TRIP), with more points and bigger rewards if they book at

The company also announced it will reward agents with double TRIP points when they send clients to Hawaii this fall, good for bookings at participating Hawaii Hotels during stays between Aug. 20-Dec. 15. Hotels include Aqua Aloha Surf Hotel on Oahu, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club and ResortQuest Kona by the Sea on the Big Island.


Avanti Destinations has announced the creation of three new packages combining several popular destinations in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Spain for adventurous independent travelers, which can be booked on Avanti’s recently revamped Web site. The 12-day, 11-night Ecuador Adventure package travels to Galapagos, Quito and Guayaquil. Prices start at $3,195 per person. River rafting on the Sarapiqui River and a visit to Tabacon Hot Springs highlight the eight-day, seven-night, Costa Rica Volcano and Beach Adventure, at $1,799 per person. Lastly, the eight-day, seven-night Taste of Spain explores Madrid, Seville, Malaga and Andalusia’s food and wine. Prices start at $1,295 per person. Commission is 10 percent.


Women & Wine and ArTours have partnered to create a four-day, three-night Insider’s Sonoma and Napa Feast in California, Aug. 3-6. This package offers guests an intimate wine country “feast” of premiere wine tasting, fine dining, spa pampering, cooking lessons and more. Each day features a behind-the-scenes sampling with some of Sonoma’s and Napa’s most celebrated winemakers, chefs and tastemakers.

“Women & Wine has become a trusted source for women who love wine, travel and living well,” said founder Julie Brosterman. “And we believe this signature ArTours package is the perfect way to stir everyone’s senses and offer a celebratory toast to the summer.”

Space is limited to just 20 guests for this unique wine country experience. The price for this getaway is $ 3,500 per person, based on double occupancy and includes taxes and gratuity.