Called-off middle school summer trips leave parents footing cancellation bills
A chaperoned summer trip for dozens of Papillion area middle school kids is off because most of them dropped out due to fear of coronavirus.
The missed sight-seeing is less frustrating than what some parents call excessive cancellation fees.
The Statue of Liberty and Big Apple won’t be among Sully Bunyan’s memories for the summer of 2020.
Sully said, “It would be pretty nice with a couple of friends.”
In late March, 43 of 47 Papillion Middle School parents canceled their child's June 1 Washington and New York trip.
Mark Bunyan, Sully’s father: “The coronavirus is all over the place and I just don’t feel comfortable sending my 14-year-old without me being present.”
So many parents canceled leaving just four kids willing to go and that caused Global Travel Alliance to drop the Papillion Middle School trip.
Mark canceled his 14-year-old son’s trip and now he’s not pleased with the refund policy in an attempt to get back the nearly $2,100 he prepaid last July.”
An email states Global will refund 70 percent and keep more than $600 for each kid.
Mark Bunyan said, “Why don’t you put on an administrative fee that will cover some of the cost, maybe 200 bucks or something.”
Global Travel Alliance states, “planning a group trip requires making financial commitments to our vendors months in advance. Our standard cancellation policy takes into account those commitments.”
Kerri Jones said, “You forfeit 30 percent of the total trip cost.”
That’s more than $600 for Kerri Jones.
Kerri Jones: “I think it ridiculous at this point with the hard times we’re going through and everybody is the same boat and granted they couldn’t predict it but neither could we and they need to do the right thing.”
Victoria Murnan, 14 is in a second group from Papillion La Vista Liberty Middle School and that trip she helped pay for is still on for June 5. If it’s canceled and 30 percent is withheld she would lose her memories and money.
Victoria Murnan: “Birthday money and Christmas money that I have saved up.”
Global Travel Alliance says it is going above and beyond what is required in its cancellation policy and is working with Papillion families to provide larger refunds.
They say student numbers remain strong for that second group from Papillion La Vista Liberty Middle School which has a trip scheduled later in June.