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Deadline passes for travelers headed to Passion Play to make tough choice

(WJRT)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 6:44 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A deadline has passed for dozens of tour group travelers to make a costly decision. Delay their trip two years or demand a refund with a large chunk taken out.

The German Passion Play canceled this summer and these prepaid customers claim the tour company hasn’t been passionate enough about giving refunds.

Tony Staup, a tour customer said, “I sent an email Sunday we were going to meet with you. I got an email back Monday said your check is in the mail. That could be a coincidence.”

Nawas International Travel Agency offered options of partial refund or credit toward a Passion Play Tour in 2022.

With the uncertainty of international travel, even two years from now some of the tour group have opted to take a refund even though it means a deduction of several thousand dollars.

Tony got a refund for 70 percent of a couple’s fee and Nawas didn’t return $2,300 of his money. In May, the travel company attorney claimed that the amount went to European vendors.

Jeff Ment, the travel agency attorney said, “Hotels, motor coach transfers, tour guides.”

But the tour agency fees of about $3,500 each will be refunded. One traveler says it has been on standby since April.

Dennis Koley got his 70 percent and reluctantly accepts the loss of $2,300 deducted from the prepaid trip for him and his wife.

“I think we’re fighting a very very uphill battle the funds are being held by another organization and refund of those funds, we’re at the mercy of the travel agency,” said Koley.

Despite Better Business Bureau complaints nationwide over the refund policy, as an attorney, Koley says a lawsuit against the travel agency would be a costly trip through the court.

Some customers with travel insurance have filed claims but weeks later they haven’t heard if unpaid refunds will be covered. The attorney for the tour company says all partial refunds are being processed but he hasn’t told us yet how many have been paid.

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