Lakeland Tours, LLC has been named in a proposed class action over the student travel organization’s alleged refusal to offer refunds for trips canceled or rescheduled due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The suit explains that the defendant, which does business as WorldStrides, is the largest accredited travel organization in the U.S., selling trips to roughly 400,000 students and their families each year. According to the case, the total cost of a WorldStrides trip, which includes travel, lodging, food, events and excursions, is pre-paid by customers before the start of travel.
The lawsuit alleges that although WorldStrides collected in advance hundreds of millions of dollars for travel scheduled for 2020, the defendant has refused to offer refunds after canceling, rescheduling, or postponing the trips due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
One plaintiff says she purchased a trip to Florida for her daughter and paid a total of $2,198 between June 2019 and February 2020. The woman claims WorldStrides rescheduled the trip without her agreement or consent and refused to refund her money upon request. Three other plaintiffs, who respectively paid for their children’s trips to Washington, D.C. and Italy, allege they were similarly denied refunds after the travel was either rescheduled for next spring or canceled altogether.
Echoing a similar suit filed against the operators of EF Tours, the lawsuit argues that WorldStrides has violated its contracts with the plaintiffs by collecting their money while failing to provide the trips for which they pre-paid. As a result, the plaintiffs and thousands of others have suffered “direct and consequential financial damage, harm and detriment,” the lawsuit says.
The case seeks to represent anyone in the U.S. who paid the defendant for a trip scheduled during 2020 that was not provided and who has not received a full cash refund equal to the total amount paid.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.