The Transportation Department’s aviation enforcement office has settled two recent cases by obtaining agreements from air travel promoters that they will stay out the business for a period of five or 10 years, a rarely-used remedy.

The two cases, otherwise unrelated, concerned a Utah travel company called Voyager Travel LLC, (formerly d/b/a LDS Travel and Meridian Trips), and its principal Brian Mickelsen, and a public charter operator in Wisconsin known as MetJet and its principal Michael Heisman. Both companies ceased operations last year, according to the DOT.

In the Voyager case, the DOT alleged that the company advertised air tours in 2011 and 2012 in violation of the DOT’s rules about the treatment of taxes, fees and surcharges, and post-purchase price increases.

In closing the case, the DOT cited both the company and Mickelsen “in his personal capacity” and assessed a $20,000 civil penalty, half of which will be waived if the company and Mickelsen abide by the terms of a cease-and-desist order.

That order requires Mickelsen “to cease and desist for a period of 10 years from the date of the issuance of this order from engaging in air transportation as an owner, director, member of an LLC, or a manager, a ticket agent, or air carrier or foreign air carrier.”

In the case of MetJet, the DOT alleged that the company operated public charters in conjunction with Sun Country Airlines, offering service from Green Bay, Wis., to Cancun and points in Florida. The DOT found that when the service ended abruptly, the company failed to make timely refunds because of a shortfall in its escrow account.

The DOT also found that the company had sold vouchers for unspecified travel dates, in violation of DOT guidance to public charter operators issued in 2012 requiring that every sale be for a specific date and flight.

No financial penalty was imposed, but Heisman was ordered to “cease and desist for a period of five years from the date of the issuance of this order from being involved in public charter operations.”


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