Attorney General Tong Aids Consumers with COVID-19 Travel Concerns, Shares Guidance as Variants Impact Travel(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong has received over 1,000 complaints and helped recover approximately $1.9 million for consumers regarding disrupted travel plans due to COVID-19. With new variants and rising case numbers triggering additional travel restrictions worldwide, Attorney General Tong urged consumers to carefully review terms and agreements before making travel plans.
In light of continued travel disruptions, Attorney General Tong reshared 2020 travel guidance issued jointly in conjunction with Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull and Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais.
“With the arrival of effective vaccines and boosters, many families are making travel plans, and that’s a great thing. But this is still a very unpredictable pandemic, and the uncertainty around new variants has triggered additional travel restrictions. There’s no cause for panic, but if you are making travel plans, be sure to read the terms and conditions and protect yourself if you need to postpone or cancel any plans,” said Attorney General Tong. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, our consumer assistance team has fielded well over 1,000 travel related complaints and helped recover nearly $2 million for Connecticut families. If you need help too, we are here to assist.”
Examples of cases resolved in 2021 include:
A Connecticut family paid $2,340 for two season passes at a Canadian ski resort. COVID-19 prevented the family from traveling to Canada before the resort closed early for the season due to COVID-19. After trying unsuccessfully to work with the ski resort, the family asked the Office of the Attorney General for help. We were able to get them their requested vouchers.
A senior citizen had planned a trip to Holland and Belgium for April 2020. The trip was cancelled due to COVID-19. Despite purchasing travel insurance and being promised a refund within 60 days, the Connecticut resident had not been refunded her money. After 15 months of trying unsuccessfully, she asked for assistance. The Office of the Attorney General was able to secure her $4,000 refund.
A Connecticut man had scheduled two back-to-back cruises for May 2021. In April, the cruise company notified him both trips had been cancelled. When he did not receive his promised refund, he reached out to the Office of the Attorney General for help. We were able to get his full $34,000 refund.
A Connecticut couple booked an Alaskan tour for September 2020. When the trip was cancelled due to COVID, they were offered a $1,000 incentive to rebook for a future trip in 2021. That trip was also cancelled. Once they rebooked for 2022, the price of the trip had increased and the company was refusing to accept the $1,000 incentive, claiming they had not rebooked before a May 2021 deadline. The couple searched their paperwork and found no reference to a deadline. They further noted that they had tried to reschedule for 2021, but those trips were cancelled. With the help of the Office of the Attorney General, they were able to get a $1,500 voucher for a 2022 trip.
Two sisters were planning to travel to Mexico in April 2020. When the resort closed due to COVID, they were given a travel voucher and an airline credit to be used before December 2021. Due to travel restrictions enforced by their employers, they were unable to travel before the deadline. With assistance from the Office of the Attorney General, they were able to secure an extension on their voucher.
Legal Investigator Christine Buck, Peter Brown, Deputy Director of Constituent Services and Sandra G. Arenas, Special Associate Attorney General for Constituent and Consumer Affairs, are assisting the Attorney General in this matter.