AUSTIN, Texas - The Bowie High School band booster club says they are still trying to get a full refund for an overseas trip canceled by COVID-19 back in March. Some families and students are out more than $1000.
“There were a lot of kids really upset, my son is 16 and they had been practicing. Kids were fundraising, parents were excited, this was a huge deal,” said club president Louisa Thollander.
The trip included more than 150 students, 75 family members, and 20 chaperones. Thollander said following the cancellation, they began working with their travel agency to get their money back. “Really we would just like a full refund for the tickets that were apart of our package,” said Thollander.
For the most part, Thollander and their travel agency, Perform International, who contacted FOX 7 Austin, said they’ve been able to get full cash refunds from the various airlines they used except for one, British Airways, which had about 140 of the trip’s tickets.
“They said they would cover taxes and fees and if I look at my notes, it’s basically a few hundred dollars versus a thousand dollars for the tickets,” said Thollander.
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The travel company told FOX 7 Austin British Airways also allowed for the option for a ticket voucher to be used at a later date, an option Thollander said can be difficult for a high school student to take advantage of.
Now state leaders are looking to get involved. “My daughter went to Bowie High School and was involved in extracurricular activities and I felt that I really wanted to respond to them and help them any way that I can,” said state Rep. Vikki Goodwin (D-Austin).
Goodwin wrote a letter to the airline. “I would like for British Airways to offer cash refunds for those who ask for them. There may be some who feel like they may use the credit in time so not everyone would ask for a cash refund but for those who do we feel like they should offer that,” she said.
FOX 7 Austin reached out to British Airways earlier this week with the concerns of these parents and students, and so far they’ve told us they are looking into it.
Thollander is hopeful the airline will compromise.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.