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South Lyon parents get refunds after eighth-grade trip canceled by coronavirus (COVID-19)

Parents paid $850 for student trip

SOUTH LYON, Mich. – Parents in South Lyon are finally receiving refunds after they paid $850 for their eighth-grade students to take a trip that was later canceled by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Hundreds of students were supposed to take a trip to the nation’s capital, but then came the coronavirus, leaving parents with no choice but to pull the plug. That’s when they got into a battle with the group putting the trip together.

The educational trip cost parents $850. Amy Allen’s daughter, an eight-grader at Millennium Middle School in South Lyon, was one of the children who spent months fundraising to collect at least $800 a piece for the trip.

The trip was canceled because of the coronavirus, but the company, WorldStrides, wasn’t initially offering refunds to anyone without trip insurance. Instead, parents were told they could apply the money to a future trip or sell the package to next year’s eighth-graders, the company says.

“In these unprecedented times for the travel industry, we’re working with our groups to offer options that work for as many families as possible,” the company told Local 4′s Help Me Hank. “We know how hard families have worked to invest in their child’s experience, and we continue to make changes as the situation evolves.”

Parents, students and administrators in South Lyon were frustrated, especially since most of the hotel and transportation companies were offering money back.

On Monday night, a company spokesperson reached out to Help Me Hank and said cash refunds would be offered to all parents, minus a small fee for internal costs.

“We hope this represents WorldStrides’ commitment to do the right thing for our customers,” company spokesperson Beth Campbell said. “This has been a situation of unprecedented scale for student travel and we can’t wait to get back to helping travelers explore the world.”

You can watch Hank Winchester’s full story in the video posted above.


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