Thursday, May 11, 2017

Family refused Cuba vacation refund after unexpected pregnancy

Family refused Cuba vacation refund after unexpected pregnancy
Sunwing refuses cancellation request
A family fearing the Zika virus will affect their unborn child can't get
a refund on a flight to Cuba. Kamil Karamali has details.
Jackie Dunham,
Published Wednesday, May 10, 2017 10:03AM EDT

What began as a dream vacation for one Calgary family quickly turned
into a nightmare, and a costly one at that, after they tried to cancel
their Sunwing package at the last minute.
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The Aburto family were looking forward to their upcoming trip to Cuba
after booking a trip package through Sunwing in March. It had been three
years since the family of four were able to travel together and they
were excited.
As the day of their departure approached, the Aburtos received some
unexpected news – Leslie Aburto was pregnant, which meant that all of
their plans were suddenly up in the air.
The reason?
Canada's Public Health Agency recommends pregnant women avoid travelling
to Cuba because of the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus that can,
if a pregnant woman is infected, cause serious birth defects in the fetus.
Leslie's husband, Wilfredo, told CTV Calgary they weren't willing to
risk the health of their future child by keeping their plans to travel
to Cuba.
"It's something that I don't know if any parent would take that chance,"
Wilfredo said on Tuesday.
The threat of a birth defect is a particularly sensitive topic for the
Aburto family who know firsthand what it's like to raise a child with
special needs - their 17-month-old son was born with Down syndrome.
When the couple attempted to re-book their vacation with Sunwing, they
were told they wouldn't be allowed to make any changes to their 100 per
cent non-refundable tickets. Wilfredo said they were told they wouldn't
even be able to transfer the tickets to someone else.
Without the refund, the Aburto family will be out $6,000 for the
cancelled trip.
Sunwing told CTV Calgary it offered refunds to travellers during a
three-month period at the beginning of 2016, as the spread of the Zika
virus caught the attention of health authorities around the world.
"Since this date, as the potential effects of the virus are now widely
known, any cancellations due to the risk of Zika are bound by our normal
terms and conditions," Sunwing said.
Leslie said, although they're frustrated and disappointed by the travel
company's response, they're still holding out hope that they'll be able
to recover the costs of the vacation before the planned departure date
in a couple of days.
"It would definitely be a pretty rough blow to us," Leslie said. "It's
been three years, so with another baby on the way, who knows when we'll
be able to take another holiday again."
With a report from CTV Calgary's Kamil Karamali

Source: Family refused Cuba vacation refund after unexpected pregnancy |
CTV News -

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