In advance of a new email that will include an updated tour refund release from Cultural Tour Consultants, here is an update from our Superintendent to all of you. You will very likely receive this updated tour refund release email tomorrow (4/19). We still plan to offer a notary signing session at the high school, but I couldn’t set that up until we got to this point. More information to come on that soon. I would also recommend that if you did purchase trip insurance, follow through with that as well. Unfortunately, I did not for my daughter, but perhaps you can get back some more of your money using this route. Just a thought.
I am writing today with news of the refund for the Choir trip overseas that was cancelled due to COVID-19. We have continued to work with our travel consultant to do all that we can for our families. As of Friday we are down to $500 each as the cancellation cost. This is half of the contract amount of $1,000 for cancellation. I believe we are at the point where this is the best we are going to get.
When we initially informed you all of cancelling the trip we told you we would have our legal counsel guide us and ultimately fight for us should that be necessary. We have done that up to this point. Our legal counsel has stated, we will continue to fight for you if you would like, but there is no guarantee of winning at this point and if we do it, it will be more than a year from now. A year from now many of these travel companies may be out of business and there may not be money to give your families. Our recommendation is that you take what is available now as it may not be after a court battle and you may ultimately end up getting even less.
Ultimately our battle would be with the travel company. Each of you has a signed contract and in that contract is a cancellation fee of $1,000. This has been cut in half at this point and certainly demonstrates a good faith effort on behalf of the tour company. Travel, especially international travel, has some inherent risks and this is one of them.
While I am glad that there is cash coming back to our families, I do sympathize with the burden a loss of $500 creates. I wish that this piece had been better. It has been suggested that the school District cover that cost. The District cannot take on the financial impact of all that has been lost or cancelled for our families due to the COVID-19 outbreak around the world. This is a world-wide pandemic and I am certain that no one regrets that we are not in the final planning stages for sending our kids into international countries during said pandemic.
In closing, please know that I am sorry it is not better. It is the recommendation of school administration, our legal counsel, and our travel company that we take this refund as it is right now. It is important to remember that the travel industry has been decimated by this. Many of the companies in the USA and around the world will not survive this and will go bankrupt and close. We want money in the hands of our families and taking this refund now versus continuing the fight is the only way to ensure that happens.
Please email or call with any questions or concerns. My email firstname.lastname@example.org and my cell phone is (231) 206-6714.