Ormond Beach mom says she lost thousands after tour company doesn’t cancel Italy trip

An Ormond Beach mom can?t believe a vacation tour company would not cancel a trip to Italy even when US officials said it was risky to travel.

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — An Ormond Beach mom can’t believe a vacation tour company would not cancel a trip to Italy even when U.S. officials said it was risky to travel.

She lost more than $2,300 and so did the entire group.

Action 9 consumer investigator Todd Ulrich tracked down the travel company and found out why this type of travel makes cancellation refunds even tougher.

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​It seemed the perfect mom and daughter European getaway.

Wendy Warfield would be a chaperon for her daughter’s college volleyball tournament in Milan. Then came the coronavirus headlines from Italy.

“And I didn’t think that was a safe situation for anybody to be in.”

Wendy and her daughter’s college booked their 8 day tour through XL Sports Tours near Downtown Orlando.

The cost was $2,350, and that did not include airfare.

But when she called to cancel she says XL Sports told her it was okay to travel

“Nope everything’s a go. We might have to change some things because a lot of things were shut down.”

In fact, days before the tour started the CDC advised Italy was a travel level two because there was community spread of the virus.

Just before the tour would have started it was level 3 that meant US travelers should avoid non-essential travel.

Wendy canceled two days before the tour but she says XL Sports denied any refunds.

And yet the airline refunded their tickets.

Consumer experts says tours and travel agency packaged travel can have different cancellation rules since its a group sale.

Holly Salmons is the president of the Better Business Bureau and says it pays to read a travel tour contract. ​

“Unless the actual carrier or the tour company are canceling the accommodations or the tour you may not be offered a full refund.”

Ulrich contacted managers at XL Sports Tours. They confirmed the refund denials, but said the agency had been working with hotels and touring companies in Milan to get partial refunds.

And it has followed terms of its sales contracts.

Travel tour contracts can make it harder to obtain refunds after cancellations.

But these are unusual times. You should still consider disputing refund denials with the travel provider and your credit card company. You could also send a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.