Colorado students file lawsuit after travel agency cancels trip for COVID-19 and retains charges

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WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) – Families in Colorado and the country are taking legal action against Voyageurs International Ltd. the trip.

The high school choir, band and orchestra students planned to be in Europe in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic has prevented that from happening. Parents say the cancellation was understandable, but say the charges are unreasonable and unfair.

Camden Long, a graduate of Mountain Vista High School, saved money for the trip before graduation. He was working minimum wage as a barista and had to join his classmates for the two-week music-focused educational adventure across Europe.

“Many of us had fully paid for the trip in November,” said her mother, Jennifer Long.

Families paid more than $ 6,000 for the summer experience long before anyone heard of COVID-19, court documents show. Long said the trip cancellation resulted in Voyageurs International withholding $ 1,900 from each family. The families say the “cancellation fee” withheld is about $ 5.7 million paid by about 3,000 students nationwide.

The problem is the company’s cancellation policy which is in a contract signed by the parents. The policy and contract are currently part of a dispute that could force an arbitration hearing for more than 200 student-musicians, according to the families’ media relations representative.

“When [Voyageurs International] said cancellation policy, I thought that meant if we canceled and waived, ”Long said.

“I was sure I thought they would give us our money back except maybe a small amount,” Long said. “In essence, they really haven’t done anything for us other than sending us a few mailings.”

Next month will mark a year since many families have paid for trips that would be canceled.

FOX31 emailed several attorneys representing Voyageurs International for this report and received the following statement from James Campbell of CKBR:

“The case will be arbitrated according to the contract, and that should resolve all issues. The question before the tribunal is whether all the arbitrations should be consolidated or not. In all cases, the matter will be referred to arbitration. Accordingly, we do not wish to rule on the merits of the case, but ask you to review the express contractual provisions.

Currently, both sides are waiting for a Denver judge to rule on the legal interpretation before the case is referred to a consolidated arbitration hearing.


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