Fear of coronavirus cancels local student's trip to Italy with no assurance of a refund

The fear of coronavirus is forcing many people to cancel their travel plans. Some students say it’s not fair their school trips abroad are being canceled and there’s no way they’ll be able to make them up. Not to mention, refunds for their expenses may not happen, either.

“We were gonna land in Milan. A few days in Venice, a few days in Florence,” explained Andrew Johnson.

Johnson says his 10 day class trip hop-scotching all over Italy was cancelled last week after cases of the coronavirus spiked there.

Johnson says Truman High School administrators made the call out of safety concerns, even before U.S. Airlines stopped flying in and the State Department raised its travel advisory to the highest – Level 4 – meaning no travel.

“When they released our options, okay, change the date of your trip. Change the location. Or, accept a travel voucher,” Johnson said.

Johnson says a travel voucher seemed to be the best option for 45 of the students and staff booked on the trip. But, not the five graduating seniors like him.

“It’s just disappointing. We trusted the company. We paid the insurance,” Johnson lamented.


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It took Andrew a year to pay the $3,300 cost.

He’s either heading to the U.S. Air Force Academy or Penn State, preventing him from re-booking travel in June or November. His mother requested a refund.

“They, basically, said that wasn’t an option,” Carolyn Erickson Johnson explained.

Carolyn Erickson Johnson and Andrew Johnson, whose trip to Italy was canceled, due to coronavirus fears.

Carolyn aired her disappointment on Facebook.

“I’d like them to show me where it states this is not covered, especially when there is a travel advisory at Level 4. This is the part that’s really hard to read,” Carolyn added.

Andrew Johnson planned trip to Italy, now canceled, due to coronavirus.

“The U.S. State Department has been issued, preceding your arrival to the country. Well, this is preceding,” stated FOX 29’s Joyce Evans.

But, the refund denial was issued before the Level 4 advisory. Andrew and his mom will reach out again Monday.

“We’re hoping, but there’s no guarantee,” Carolyn added.


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