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Pasco County family says they lost $7,000 after daughter's trip to Europe got canceled due to coronavirus

Refunds are not an option
Posted at 9:16 PM, Mar 04, 2020

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. -- A Pasco County mom paid more than $7,000 to go on a trip with her daughter to Italy and Greece.

The two were scheduled to leave in 10 days on March 14.

Melissa Longs booked the trip with EF Educational Tours.

She said the company gave a presentation at the school her daughter attends in Pasco County.

"We booked directly through EF Tours and they came in and did their presentation and let us know what a great educational experience it would be," said Melissa Longs.

"We booked directly with them and contracted with them almost a year ago and made the payment set up," she added.

Longs said the company canceled the trip. As of February 29, there is a Level 3 travel advisory for Italy. Level 3

People should reconsider travel to Italy due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19.

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Longs said she was looking forward to the trip with her 13-year-old daughter.

"How amazing is it to travel and to see the world. I think it helps you learn about the culture and everything isn't like your little town," said Longs.

A spokesperson with EF Educational Tours released the following statement:

"The health and safety of our travelers and staff has been our top priority for more than 55 years. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, are in constant communication with our offices around the world, and are actively following the guidance of all relevant health authorities. We are also working with our groups, their schools, and individual families to provide flexible options for tours that have already been booked, including extending our Peace of Mind program to all tours schedule for 2020. Groups have until March 16th if they would like to exercise one of these flexible options, and we are calling out to every group before then to have that conversation. Our Peace of Mind program allows groups to change their itinerary, destination, or departure date or take a transferable voucher, which can be used for any of our other tours globally or at our International Language Campuses. Typically, the Peace of Mind program is only offered to tours modified at least 45 days prior to departure, but given the current situation, we are allowing flexible rebooking without penalty for any 2020 tour right up to the day of departure to ensure that everyone feels safe as they embark on, modify, or postpone their educational experience. "

Longs said she hoped for a refund.

"It's not really feasible to just pick another date. We all have work, all have responsibilities, other kids," said Longs.