Travel booking site cancels trips to Arkansans and does not refund money
Their trips were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they were not reimbursed by bookit.com.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Local customers say a popular vacation booking website scammed them for thousands of dollars. Their trips were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they were not reimbursed by bookit.com.
“I will never use it again. This is the first time I have used one and I will not use it again, ”said Christy Brannon.
Christy Brannon’s niece was getting married in Cancun, Mexico in July, so she and 20 others had all booked their trip through bookit.com and together paid over $ 30,000 for the trip. On March 21, she received an email telling her everything was canceled.
“That they couldn’t refund us, so we had to contact our bank to get the refunds, and then they shut down their entire phone line, they shut down their website,” she said.
Here is the message you see when you go to bookit.com:
“US Department of State issues NOTICE TO TRAVEL
Updated March 25, 2020 at 4:00 a.m. CT
In response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, BookIt.com has suspended normal operations and the international destinations we serve have closed their borders to arrivals.
Due to the nature of this unprecedented pandemic, we have had to close our call centers in Florida, Jamaica and El Salvador. This effectively means that we will not be able to provide agent assistance for the cancellation of any future trips.
Cancellation of future trips:
BookIt.com has now canceled all future reservations at resorts located in destinations other than the United States. We have also been officially informed that most of these resorts have closed temporarily, as air travel to their destinations is not possible at this time.
Your APPEAL the reservation was canceled automatically
All upcoming PayDelay payments for upcoming trips have been canceled
As we are currently unable to reimburse you, please contact your bank to find out what options are available to you as a cardholder.
Your FLIGHT part of your reservation will be canceled when the airline you have booked officially cancels your flight. Provided the PayDelay payments were made to cover the cost of your flight, your remaining PayDelay payments have been canceled.
As we are currently unable to reimburse you, please contact your bank to find out what options are available to you as a cardholder. If you wish to reschedule, please deal directly with the airline you have selected. If you want to cancel your flight, in most cases you can do so on your respective airline’s website.
If you wish to postpone your stay to a later date, please do so directly with the selected resort.
Current opinions change daily. Please visit the US State Department link above for official updates.
Due to the current situation, BookIt cannot set a day for the return to normal operations.
We hope that this global tragedy will pass soon and that we can resume our normal activities. Most importantly, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe. “
Brannon called his bank who told him she should get reimbursed from bookit.com.
“It’s really upsetting because now they have taken at least the money from our 20 people and now the wedding is going to have to be postponed and we are going to have to find the money to remake her marriage,” she said.
There is even a Facebook group for people who say they’ve been scammed by the website.
Stacy Lynch booked her son’s senior trip to Mexico in February. She got the same email as Brannon saying she would have to go through her credit card company for a refund.
” It’s very bad. They use the coronavirus by saying that’s why they can’t refund money, but they just aren’t refunded because they chose not to, ”Lynch said.
While the women we spoke to said they would travel again, both women said they would never use a third-party vacation booking site again.
In the Facebook group scammed by bootit.com, nearly 2,000 people across the country claimed to have been scammed by the company. They have filed complaints with the Arkansas attorney general as well as the Florida attorney general, where the company is headquartered. The Better Business Bureau is also aware of the situation.